Spelman College is founded in a damp church basement in Atlanta, Georgia with the goal of educating newly freed Black women.
1881 (Apr 11)
Originally the Atlanta Baptist Female Academy, Spelman College was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, to provide education for newly freed Black women. Classes were first held in a damp church basement with eleven pupils who were determined to learn to read the Bible and write well enough to send letters to their families in the North. John D. Rockefeller, impressed by the school on a visit, became an early benefactor by paying off a $16,700 debt on buildings purchased for the school. It became the "Radcliffe and the Sarah Lawrence of Negro education."