A Legacy of Leadership
EARLY AFRICAN AMERICAN ALUMNI OF HARVARD AND RADCLIFFE
It was more than two centuries after the University’s founding that Harvard College’s first Black graduate, Richard Greener, received his bachelor’s degree, in 1870, and it was not until the 1960s that the presence of Black students at Harvard and Radcliffe increased significantly.
Yet early Black graduates of Harvard lived lives of extraordinary impact. Despite an often inhospitable learning environment at Harvard, they confronted and resisted marginalization, earned their educations, and, ultimately, reshaped the nation. Their leadership and resistance—their struggles and triumphs—are also part of Harvard's story, and part of the legacy that today’s Harvard students inherit.
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