John L. Slater

With the 1882 inheritance of his uncle’s textile business in Connecticut, John L. Slater donated a million dollars to create the first philanthropy in the United States devoted exclusively to African American education. Inspired by the success of George Peabody, Slater specified that his fund be used “for the uplifting of the lately emancipated population of the Southern States and their posterity by conferring on them the blessings of Christian education.” Grants from the Slater Fund helped develop black colleges and high schools as well as institutions for teacher training and industrial education.

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