Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Notable Black College Grads

November 5th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance

*(Colleges are Listed Alphabetically and graduates are listed alphabetically by first name or stage name.)

Adelphi University

  • Chuck D (Bachelor’s, 1984)
  • Edolphus Towns, D-NY (MSW)
  • Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY (Bachelor’s)

Airforce Institute of Technology

  • Guion “Guy” Bluford (M.S., 1974, Ph.D., 1978, Aerospace Engineering)

Alabama A&M University

  • James Perkins, Jr. (Bachelor’s, Mathematics)

Alcorn State University (Alcorn A&M)

  • Medgar Evers (B.S., 1952)
  • Steve McNair (Bachelor’s, 1995)

American Conservatory Theatre

  • Anna Deveare Smith (MFA, 1976)

American University

  • Star Jones (B.A.)

Amherst College

  • Charles R. Drew (Bachelor’s)
  • Jeffry Wright (Bachelor’s 1987)

Antioch College

  • A. Leon Higginbotham (Bachelor’s, 1949)
  • Coretta Scott King
  • Ed Bullins (B.A., 1989)
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (B.A., 1960)
  • Oz Scott (B.A., 1972)

Atlanta College of Art

  • Kara Walker (BFA, Painting/Printmaking)

Atlanta University

  • Georgia Douglass Johnson (B.A., 1896)

Auburn University

  • Bo Jackson (B.S., Family and Child Development, 1995)

Ball State University

  • Steadman Graham (M.Ed.)

Barber-Scotia College

  • Mary McLeod Bethune

Barnard College

  • Edwidge Danticat (B.A., French Literature)
  • Ntozake Shange (B.A., American Studies, 1970, cum laude)
  • Zora Neale Hurston (B.A., Anthropology)

Bates College

  • Bryant Gumbel (B.A., History, 1970)
  • Corey Harris (B.A., Anthropology, 1991)
  • John Hope (L.L.D., 1932)

Baylor University

  • Michael Johnson (Bachelor’s, 1990)

Beaver College

  • Anna Deveare Smith (Bachelor’s)

Berea College

  • Carter G. Woodson (B.A., 1903)

Berklee College of Music

  • Branford Marsalis (Bachelor’s, Saxophone, 1980)
  • Cindy Blackman (Bachelor’s, Drums, 1980)
  • Delfeayo Marsalis (Bachelor’s, Trombone, Composition, 1989)
  • Kevin Eubanks (Bachelor’s, Guitar, 1979)
  • Lalah Hathaway (Bachelor’s, Voice, 1994)

Bethune-Cookman University

  • Rodney Chester (B.A.)

Boston College

  • Darnell Alford (Bachelor’s, 2003)
  • Julianne Malveaux (B.A., Economic, 1975; M.A. Economics, 1976)
  • Robert C. Scott, D-VA (J.D.)

Boston University

  • Alfre Woodard
  • Edward Brooke (J.D., 1948)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ph.D.)

Brandeis University

  • Angela Davis (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Loretta Devine (M.F.A., Theatre, 1976)
  • Patrik-Ian Polk (B.A., Film and Theatre, 1994)

Brooklyn College

  • Gloria Naylor
  • Shirley Chisholm (B.A., 1949)

Brown University

  • Allison Stewart (B.A., 1988)
  • Andre Leon Talley (M.A., French)
  • Aunjanue Ellis (B.A.)
  • Darryl Thierse (B.A., 1989)
  • Edwidge Danticat (M.F.A., Creative Writing)
  • Fritz Pollard (Bachelor’s, 1919)
  • Gordon Chambers (B.A., 1990)
  • Hill Harper (Bachelor’s, 1988)
  • John Hope (Bachelor’s, 1894)
  • Karyn Bryant (B.A., Political Science, Sociology)
  • Larry Elder (B.A., Political Science, 1974)
  • Royal Miller (B.A., 1988)
  • Scott Poulson-Bryant (B.A., 1988, 2008)

California Institute of the Arts

  • Don Cheadle (B.F.A.)
  • Thomas Jefferson Byrd (M.F.A., Dance)

California State University – Long Beach

  • Betye Saar (M.A., Graphic Design, 1960)

California State University – Los Angeles

  • Diane Watson, D-CA (M.A., School Psychology)
  • Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-CA (Master’s Educational Administration)
  • Maxine Waters, D-CA (B.A.)

California State University – Northridge

  • Morris Chestnut (B.A., Finance and Drama)

Cambridge University

  • Alexander Crummell (A.B. [Bachelor's], Queen’s College, 1853)
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (M.A., Ph.D.)

Carnegie-Mellon University

  • Blair Underwood (Bachelor’s)
  • Shari Belafonte-Harper (B.F.A., Drama)

Carson-Newman College

  • Michael Eric Dyson (Bachelor’s, Honors, 1982)

Case Western Reserve University

  • David Satcher (M.D., Ph.D., 1970, Alpha Omega Alpha)
  • Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH (Bachelor’s, Social Work, 1971; J.D>, 1974)

Central State University

  • Leontyne Price (B.A.)

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

  • Ed Bradley (Bachelor’s, Education)

Chicago State University

  • Danny K. Davis, D-IL (Master’s)

Chicago Theological Seminary

  • Jesse Jackson, Jr. (M.A., Theology)

City College of New York (CCNY)

  • Butterfly McQueen (Bachelor’s Political Science, 1975)
  • Colin Powell (Bachelor’s Geology)
  • Faith Ringgold (Bachelor’s, Fine art and Education, 1955; M.A., Art, 1959)
  • Julie Dash (B.A., Film Production)
  • Roy Emile Alfredo Innis (Bachelor’s Chemistry)

Claremont Graduate School

  • Diane Watson, D-CA (Ph.D., Educational Administration)

Cleveland Marshall School of Law

  • Carl Stokes (L.L.B., 1956)

Clark Atlanta University

  • Derrick “D-Reck” Dixon (M.B.A.)
  • Hosea Williams (Master’s, Chemistry)
  • James Weldon Johnson (Bachelor’s, 1896)
  • Major Owens, D-NY (M.S.)
  • Marva Collins (Bachelor’s)
  • Nngest Likke (Bachelor’s)

Colgate University

  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (B.A., 1930)

College of the Holy Cross

  • Clarence Thomas (B.A., cum laude)

Columbia University

  • (Alyce) Faye Wattleton (Master’s, Maternal and Infant Care)
  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (M.A., Religious Education)
  • Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany (D.D.S.)
  • Audre Lorde (M.L.S.)
  • Barack Obama (Bachelor’s Political Science)
  • Constance Baker Motley (J.D., 1946)
  • James Earl Hardy (Master’s, Journalism)
  • James Meredith (L.L.B.)
  • Jewelle Gomez (Master’s, Journalism)
  • Joel Elias Spingarn (B.A., 1895; Ph.D., 1899)
  • Johnathan Reese (Bachelor’s, 2002)
  • Junot Diaz (M.F.A., Creative Writing)
  • Kenneth B. Clark (Ph.D., 1940)
  • Marcellus Wiley (B.A., 1997)
  • Mario Van Peebles (B.A., Economics, 1978)
  • Mat Johnson (M.F.A., Creative Writing)
  • Myronn Hardy (M.F.A., Creative Writing)
  • Paul Robeson (J.D., 1923)
  • Sara “Sadie” Louis Delany (B.S., Education; Master’s, Teacher’s College, 1925)
  • Shirley Chisholm (Master’s, Teacher’s College, Elementary Education)
  • Terry McMillan (Master’s, Journalism)
  • Victor LaValle (M.F.A., Creative Writing)

Cornell University

  • Mae Jemison (M.D., 1981)

Dartmouth College

  • Aisha Tyler (Bachelor’s, Political Science with minor in Environmental Policy, 1992)
  • Brian J. White (Bachelor’s, Political Psychology, Theatre Arts)
  • Keith Boykin (Bachelors, 1987)
  • Shonda Rimes (Bachelor’s, 1991)

DePaul University

  • Benjamin Hooks (J.D., 1948)

Detroit College of Law

  • Dennis Archer (J.D., 1970)

Dillard University

  • Alice Dunbar Nelson (B.A., 1892)
  • Ruth J. Simmons (B.A. 1967)

Drew University

  • Calvin O. Butts (Doctor of Ministry, Church and Public Policy)

Duke University

  • Benjamin Chavis (M.Div., 1980)
  • Bill Campbell (J.D., 1977)
  • Dahntay Jones (Bachelor’s, 2003)
  • Denise Majette (J.D., 1979)
  • Grant Hill (Bachelor’s, 1994)
  • Reggie Love (Bachelor of Arts, 2005)

Eastern Michigan University

  • Judge Mathis (Bachelors, 1983 — led the “Free South Africa” and voter registration campaigns on campus)

Emory University

Fisk University

Florida A&M University (FAMU)

Fordham University

Fresno State University

Georgetown University

  • Albert Wynn, D-MD (J.D., 1977)
  • Amerie (B.A., 2000, English, Fine Arts)
  • Marc Morial (J.D., 1983)

George Washington University

  • Colin Powell (MBA)
  • Donna Christian-Christensen (M.D., 1970)
  • Patricia Roberts Harris (J.D., National Law Center, 1960)

Gettysburg College

Grinnell College
  • Herbie Hancock (Bachelors, double major in Music and Electrical engineering, 1971)
Hampton Institute
  • Booker T. Washington (Bachelor’s, 1875)
Hardin Simmons University
  • Steadman Graham (Bachelors, Social Work)
Harvard University
  • Alain Locke (B.A., 1907 [first Black Rhodes Scholar]; Ph.D., Philosophy, 1918)
  • Artur Davis, D-AL (Bachelors, 1990, Magna Cum Laude; J.D. Cum Laude, 1993)
  • Barack Obama (J.D., 1992)
  • Bill Jefferson, D-Louisana (Bachelors)
  • Carter G. Woodson (Ph.D., History, 1912)
  • Cornel West (B.A., Near Eastern Languages and Literature, magna cum laude [graduated in three years], 1974)
  • Countee Cullen (M.A., English, French, 1927)
  • Debra Martin Chase (J.D., Harvard Law School, 1981)
  • Hill Harper (J.D., Cum Laude)
  • J. Lorand Matory (Bachelor’s, 1982)
  • Keith Boykin (J.D., Harvard Law School)
  • Marita Odette Bonner (B.A., English, Comparative Literature, 1922 [she won two music competitions, was a founder of a chapter of Delta Sigma Theta])
  • Ralph Bunche (Masters, PhD 1934, Political Science)
  • Reginald Hudlin
  • Robert C. Scott, D-VA (Bachelors)
  • Sterling Brown (M.A., 1923)
  • Tatyana Ali (Bachelors)
  • Terdema Ussery (Master’s 1984)
  • William Lacy Clay, Jr. (Master’s, John F. Kennedy School of Government)
UC Hastings College of Law
  • Willie Brown (J.D., class president)
Howard University
  • (Alphonso) Mike Espy (B.A., 1975)
  • Andrew Young (B.S.)
  • Anthony Anderson (Bachelor’s)
  • Benjamin Hooks (B.A., 1944)
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon (Ph.D., U.S. History [emphasis in African American Oral History], 1975)
  • Charlotte E. Ray (Law Degree, 1872) [First African American Woman Lawyer]
  • Clarence Pendleton (B.S., 1964; Master’s, Education, 1961)
  • David Dinkins (B.S.)
  • Debbie Allen
  • Debbie Allen (B.A., classical Greek literature, speech, and theater [Delta Sigma Theta])
  • Douglas Wilder (J.D., 1959)
  • Edward Brooke (Bachelors, 1941)
  • Elijah Cummings (B.A., Political Science, 1973 [sophomore class president, Phi Beta Kappa])
  • Elizabeth Catlett (Bachelor’s cum laude, 1936)
  • Ernest R. Dickerson (Bachelor’s, Architecture, Photography)
  • Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY (J.D.)
  • Hon. Sharon Pratt Kelly (B.A., J.D.)
  • Hon. Walter Washington (Bachelor’s, J.D.)
  • James L. Farmer, Jr. (School of Religion, 1941)
  • Jessye Norman
  • Jessye Norman (Bachelor’s, Music, 1967)
  • Kenneth B. Clark (B.A., 1935)
  • Kwame Ture a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael (B.A., Philosophy, 1964)
  • Laz Alonso (Bachelor’s, Marketing)
  • Lois Mailou Jones (Bachelors, magna cum laude, 1945)
  • Lynn Whitefield (Bachelors)
  • Omar Tyree
  • Ossie Davis
  • Ossie Davis (Bachelors, 1938)
  • Patricia Roberts Harris (B.A., 1945, summa cum laude)
  • Paula Giddings (Bachelors)
  • Phylicia Rashad
  • Roberta Flack
  • Roberta Flack (B.A., Music)
  • Roxie Roker (Drama)
  • Shirley Franklin (B.A., Sociology)
  • The Right Reverend Vashti Murphy McKenzie (M.Div., School of Divinity)
  • Toni Morrison
  • Vernon Jordan
  • Wendy Raquel Robinson (BFA, 1989)

Humboldt University of Berlin

  • Angela Davis (PhD)
Hunter College
  • Audre Lorde (B.A., 1959)

  • Janet MacLachlan (B.S., Psychology, 1955)
  • Ruby Dee (B.A., French and Spanish, 1945)
  • Sonia Sanchez (B.A., Political Science, 1955)

Posted by Ajuan Mance


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