Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Highest Standards

On January 9 in Black History...
"the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best."
In 1866, Fisk University opened for classes in Nashville, Tennessee. Barely six months after the end of the Civil War and just two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, three men - John Ogden, the Reverend Erastus Milo Cravath, and the Reverend Edward P. Smith - established the Fisk School in Nashville, name in honor of General Clinton B. Fisk of the Tennessee Freedmens Bureau, an abolitionist who helped establish the first free public schools in the south for white AND African-American children. General Fisk also provided the new institution with facilities in former Union Army barracks near the present site of Nashvilles Union Station. In 1954, Fisk became the first private black college accredited for its music programs by the National Association of Schools of Music. 

Famous Fisk alumni include Johnetta B. Cole, Mayor Marion Barry, John Hope Franklin, WEB DuBois, Congressman John Lewis, Nikki Giovani and Ida B. Wells.

In 1914, Phi Beta Sigma was founded at Howard University in Washington, DC. by three young African-American male students - A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse and Charles I. Brown. The founders wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service. the fraternity is the only one of its kind to aid in the creation and hold a consitutional bond with a African-American sorority. The Founders wanted its organization to be a part of the community as opposed to apart from the community. Their deep conviction for community service is embodied in its motto, "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity."

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