Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are colleges or universities that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African-American community. There are more than 100 historically black colleges in the United States, and most of them are located in the South or in the Eastern states. Additionally, there are two HBCUs in Missouri, another two in Ohio, and one in the Virgin Islands. Institutions that were founded or began to admit African-American students after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and now boast high levels of African-American enrollment are not by definition HBCUs.
There are presently six historically black colleges and universities in the United States housing law schools: Howard University, Texas Southern University, Southern University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), North Carolina Central University, and the University of the District of Columbia.
In 1867, the U.S. Congress chartered Howard University, a coeducational private institution in Washington, DC. Boasting a diverse faculty and student body, the main campus of Howard University is located in Northwest Washington; the law school resides on a separate campus approximately 15 minutes away.
Howard University School of Law opened its doors in 1869 when there was a dire need for lawyers committed to helping black Americans secure and protect their newly established rights. At that time, the first six law students met at night in the homes and offices of faculty. At the dawn of the 20th century, Howard University School of Law became not only a school but also a symbol of legal activism and a clearinghouse for information on the civil rights struggle.
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