When Rayford W. Logan’s astute history of Howard University appeared in 1969, Logan was in a unique position to analyze one of the nation’s most prominent African American colleges. He had recently completed nearly thirty years at Howard as a history professor, living and teaching through almost a third of the school’s first century.
Drawing from his own knowledge and university documents, Logan traced Howard’s chronology from 1866, when it was conceived as a theological seminary for African American ministers, to the increasingly successful, and in Logan’s words, cosmopolitan, institution of the 1960s. Logan detailed university milestones, including Howard’s founding by an act of Congress in 1867 and the election of Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, the university’s first black president, in 1926, as well as the accomplishments of Howard graduates. More than thirty years after its first publication, Logan’s engaging account is essential for a thorough understanding of Howard, and its place in the legacy of historically black universities.
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Rayford W. Logan (1897-1982) taught history at Howard University from 1938 to 1965. Logan received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1936. He wrote and edited many books, including The American Negro: Old World Background and New World Experience.
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