The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was established on this day in 1875. The original name of the school, Normal Branch College, has been changed twice since opening, and was originally planned to train Black teachers to work in segregated Black schools in the state.
Normal Branch College opened in a one-story shack with just seven students as part of the then-Arkansas Industrial University campus. The early days were a struggle, as some of the students, although somewhat educated, suffered slightly as their parents were just a decade freed from slavery.
In 1890, amendments made to the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act made it law that colleges and universities built separate institutions for Black students which led to the expansion of Normal Branch into other fields such as agriculture and other disciplines.
Arkansas Industrial University later became the University of Arkansas.
In 1927, Normal Branch split from the UAB and became Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal University. In 1972, AM&N University rejoined the UAB system and was re-named to its current name.
Notable students of the school include Dr. Samuel L. Kountz, who performed the first successful kidney transplant between two people who were not twins. Other students include Grammy Award-winning Gospel star Smokie Norful, and prominent government official, civil rights activist and social worker, Martha S. Lewis.
PHOTO: University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
READ MORE STORIES ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM:
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
1. The Fultz quadruplets were the first surviving identical African-American quads.1 of 10
2. The Muse Brothers2 of 10
3. Gerald Lawson3 of 10
4. Frederick Jones4 of 10
5. Fredi Washington5 of 10
6. Sarah Baartman6 of 10
7. Philippa Schuyler7 of 10
8. Leonard Nimoy8 of 10
9. The McKoy Twins9 of 10
10. Sarah Rector10 of 10
Little Known Black History Fact: University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff was originally published on blackamericaweb.com