Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



One of the problems confronting Texas today is higher education for Negroes. This is an old problem that is demanding a solution. The effort on the part of the State to solve this problem has not been commensurate with the needs and demands of Negroes. In the forty-four year period between 1876 and 1920, there has been an evolution in name. This evolution was gradually leading to that which the Negroes were entitled to. The evolutionary process was slow because of the financial support given the institution by the State.

During these fourty-four years the Negro was aware of the second class school the State had forced upon them. Not only was the Negro aware of this fact, but a large per cent of the white population including the legislative and executive department of the State. The cavalier attitude on the part of the state government has resulted in the embarrassing situation that the State with relationship to Negro education is in today.

The attempt of the State to make substitutes for that which the Negro was entitled is evidenced by the support given Prairie View. The Negro was aware of the attempt and for fifty years he has made his plea known to the legislature.

It is the purpose of the writer to trace the development of the university idea from its sources. Institutions do not spring up of their own accord. The fountain head is found in the minds of some man or group of men somewhere and at sometime.

The future of a race is determined in a large measure by the type of education it is exposed to. If its exposure is limited, its rise to that which is high and noble will be very slow. The Race will be fenced in by certain social barriers that are set up by the more fortunate members of the society. To overcome the barrier, the education of the Negro must be built around the needs of society as a whole. A narrow field of education for one group and a broad field for another group in the same society is against the principles of democracy and will result in conflict and maladjustment between groups in the society.

In a democracy the state is the servant of the people. The extent to which the state meets its obligation will determine the degree of satisfaction found in its people. Did Texas meet its obligation to the Negroes when it set up a second class institution for them? Did Negroes accept this substitution without protest? These and other questions will be answered in the study.

The first phase of this study is confined to the period between 1876 and 1920. This is the period in which the status of Prairie View was ambiguous by its connection with the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, which was a branch of the University of Texas. It was also during this period that the college department was added. Time and finance are two very important elements in a study of this nature. The absence of both has prevented a detailed study of the institution. It is the intention of the writer to continue this study in the near future and present to the citizens of Texas a complete history of the State institution for Negroes.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George R. Woolfolk


Prairie View University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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