Education

The fight for education for the African American community in Maryland has had a long history. In 1887 Harry Sythe Cummings entered the University of Maryland School of Law and was one of two African Americans to graduate from the program before the school re-segregated. The law school would remain segregated until Donald Gaines Murray sought admission in 1935 and was denied. Murray went to court, represented by Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Murray’s favor (Pearson v. Murray, 1936), but did not outlaw segregation in education throughout the state. Efforts to desegregate other schools was a focus of the Baltimore Chapter NAACP. In 1952, two years before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Baltimore’s Polytechnic Institute was integrated. These are just a couple of examples of the effort to change laws within the state.

Henderson also photographed Morgan State College (now University), opened in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute, and Maryland State Teachers College at Bowie (now Bowie State University).

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