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1 Brown University First Known Black Graduates Class of 1877 130 Years in Retrospect.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Brown University First Known Black Graduates Class of 1877 130 Years in Retrospect."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Brown University First Known Black Graduates Class of 1877 130 Years in Retrospect

2 2 In the Year 1877 African Diaspora Fact –9th Cape Frontier War starts with Xhosas and Europeans clashing in South Africa United States Fact –Compromise of 1877, U.S. presidential election, 1876 is resolved with the selection of Rutherford B. Hayes even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote African American Fact –Henry O. Flipper becomes first known Black Graduate of West Point

3 3 Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell African Americans first came to Brown in the 1870s. The first known African American graduates were Inman Page and George Washington Milford in the class of 1877…Whether there were African American students who entered and left before graduation is unknown…(page 6)

4 4 Class of 1877 University President: Rev. Ezekiel Robinson 55 Members Commencement June 20

5 5

6 6 George Washington Milford

7 7 Born: November 11, 1852 in Travelers Rest, Stafford County, Virginia Parents: Robert & Martha Milford School: Howard University Degrees: Brown University, A.B. 1877 Howard Univ., LLB 1901 Class of 1877 Historian

8 8 George Washington Milford

9 9 Married: Carrelean London, Oct. 29 1889 (at age 36)

10 10 George Washington Milford Occupational: Principal - Normal School, Christiansburg, VA 1877-78 High School, Easton, MD 1882-83 Law’s Seminary, Washington, DC 1884-86 Author, ‘Education in Maryland’, Freedman 1884 Author, ‘The Blair Educational Bill’, Freedman 1885 Lincoln Building Night School, Washington, DC 1886-87 Clerk, city Post Office, Washington, DC 1887-1903 Member of the bar admitted in 1902, DC Supreme Court Admitted to practice before US Supreme Court, Oct 1911

11 11 George Washington Milford Deceased: September 26, 1917 (at age 64)

12 12 Inman Edward Page

13 13 Inman Edward Page Born: December 29, 1853 in Warrington, Virginia Parents: Horace & Elizabeth Page Siblings: Nora School: Howard University Degrees: Brown University, A.B. 1877 A.M. 1880 / 1918 LLD Wilberforce University Class of 1877 Orator Base Ball Club

14 14 Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell …the account of Class Day in the Providence Journal in 1877 stated, “Mr. Page is the first colored graduate from the University. The theme of his oration was the ‘Intellectual Prospects of America.’... Mr. Page did not receive his position as class orator from a chivalrous recognition of his race by his white associates, although the choice is none the less creditable to them. He is an orator of rare ability, speaking with weight and sententiousness without effort at display and at times rising to a profound and impressive eloquence. The scope of the essay indicated grasp of thought and the language was often remarkable for elegance and power. There is no doubt but he fairly earned his honors.” Page’s classmate George Milford (who would have preceded him alphabetically in graduating) later received an earned an LL.B. degree at Howard University and became a lawyer in Washington.

15 15 Inman Edward Page Married: Zelia R. Ball June 27, 1878 (at age 24) Children: Zelia N. Page Inman E. Page, Jr. Mary Page

16 16 Inman Edward Page Occupational: Teacher, Natchez, MS 1877-78 Teacher, Lincoln Institute, Jefferson City, MO 1878-1880 Pres., Lincoln Institute, Jefferson City, MO 1880-1898 Pres., Agricultural & Normal Univ., Langston, OK 1898-1915 Pres., Western Baptist College, Macon, MO 1916-1918 Pres., Roger Williams Univ., Nashville, TN 1918-1920 Principal, Separate Schools, Oklahoma City, OK 1921-22 Pres., Lincoln Univ., Jefferson City, MO 1922-23 Principal, Separate Schools, Oklahoma City, OK 1923-35

17 17 Inman Edward Page Deceased: December 21, 1935 (at age 81)

18 18 Previous Tributes ~ 1977 Dr. Page and George Washington Milford, another black member of the class of 1877, paved the way for an impressive history of black graduates to follow. Such individuals as John Hope, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of the class of 1894, and Ethel Tremaine Robinson, the first black woman to graduate from Pembroke in 1905, are simply two of the many distinguished alumni in Brown's history. The discussion of our roots in Brown's history would be inadequate if we failed to honor the efforts of black men and women during both the 1968 and the 1975 actions which were motivated by a desire to assure the continued presence of black students ‑ in the Brown community.

19 19 Previous Tributes ~ 1979 Ralph Ellison wrote: “Such occasions are a product of the living continuity of earlier historical contacts and relationships which were initiated during the turbulent days of our 19 th century, and which have persisted even when their origins have been forgotten or ignored.”

20 20 Today we stand amid historic associations…we may look down through all the past upon the sacrifices made, the battles fought and the hardships endured, in order that we may enjoy this rich legacy of the ages; and standing thus shall we not extend our sympathies and our aid to all who are laboring, silently perhaps, but earnestly to extend the boundaries of knowledge? ~ June 15, 1877

21 21 Class of 1877 ~ 35 th Reunion

22 22 Prepared for Inman Page Black Alumni Council Smith Buonanno Hall ~ May 26, 2007 By Russell Malbrough Contact: Special Thanks to the Brown University Archives & Ms. Gayle Lynch

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