Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Flashback Friday (Way, Way Back): John B. Vashon on Oberlin College, 1840

August 14th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance

george_vashon

In 1844, Vashon’s son, George Boyer Vashon (above), would become the first African American to graduate from Oberlin College, as well as the college’s first Black valedictorian.

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“I have just returned from that noble institution, in Lorain County, Ohio, Oberlin College, where I left my son. I have no doubt but that it is the purest Christian College on the Unites States. The number of students last year was 404: 12 young gentlemen and 3 young ladies of the number are colored, yet I saw none of that low, poor, mean, black prejudice there. The Faculty there judge men by their moral worth, not by their color. I take pleasure in sending you a catalogue of the college…”

– From The Colored American newspaper, April 4, 1840

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Posted in African American Students, African Americans, Black History, Black Students, Oberlin College

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