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African American Studies

Main guide for resources and information on African American Studies (AAS)

Claiming an Education: Early Black American Humanists - Athens history

topographic map background, Claiming an Education: Early Black American Humanists

This exhibit explores the growth of the humanities in the community, from the perspective of the Black Americans who first studied and worked in and around Athens County.

Central figures in this exhibit include John Newton Templeton, who in 1828 became the university’s first Black American graduate, and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn, who was the first Black American woman to graduate, having had to find her own housing in Athens during her stay.

“The exhibit also spotlights institutions such as the Albany Enterprise Academy, an academy founded in 1863 so Black students would have access to higher education. Finally, space is given to discussion of Black American literature penned by educators and storytellers from the region.

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