Black History: Special Delivery!!
Charles L. Reason (1818 – 1864)was active in efforts to gain voting rights for black men. Reason believed strongly that industrial education was very important for blacks to gain their freedom. He also valued classical education as well and started a teachers training college in New York City. Reason and Charles B. Ray started the Society for The Promotion of Education among Colored Children, a black organization approved by the state legislature to oversee schools for blacks in New York City.In 1849, the mostly white Free Mission College (renamed New York Central College) in Courtland County, NY hired Reason as an instructor making him the first African American to teach at a predominately white college.
The college also admitted black students. Reason was a professor of Greek, Latin, French and Math. Other African American faculty members joined the college in 1850 (George B. Vashon and William Allen). In 1852, Reason left to become the principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, PA. The Institute For Colored Youth was founded in 1837 and was considered at the time to be one of the best learning institutions for African Americans in the country. He returned to New York City 3 years letter becoming an administrator of schools in New York City. In 1873, Reason was active in the fight to end segregation in the public schools. Reason founded and became Executive Secretary of the New York Political Improvement Association which won the right for fugitive slaves to have the right to a jury trial. He also was successful in abolishing the sojourner law. The sojourner law allowed slave owners to visit the state briefly with their slaves. Little is known about his personal life. He was married and widowed 3 times. Reason died in 1893.