Spelman: The Historically Black College Founded By Two White Lesbians

1.  Spelman, a HBCU, was originally founded by two white women and named after a white woman.

On April 11, 1881, Sophia B. Packard and her longtime companion Harriet E. Giles opened a small school in the basement of Friendship Baptist church (a small African American church in southwest Atlanta) called the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary.  After the Women’s American Baptist Church, (of which Sophia was president), placed a down payment on its current location the next year, the ABFS moved to that location in 1883. The following year, the balance due on the property was paid in full by John D. Rockefeller, who had followed and supported Packard and Giles vision.  The school was renamed Spelman Seminary in honor of Laura Spelman-Rockefeller (John D. Rockefeller’s wife) and her parents Harvey Buel and Lucy Henry Spelman, who were staunch activists in the antislavery movement. It became Spelman College in 1924.



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