Written by: Guest Contributor
Fannie Jackson Coppin was one of the first African-American women to ever graduate from a U.S. college. Born into slavery in 1837, at 12 Jackson Coppin’s aunt was able to purchase, and thus free, her from slavery. Fannie then served as a servant for George Henry Clavert in Oberlin, Ohio. In 1860, Jackson Coppin enrolled at Oberlin College, which was the first college to accept women and black students. In 1865, on the brink of the end of the Civil War, and after many successes in school, including founding a night school for freed slaves, Jackson Coppinn graduated from Oberlin. In 1869, after four years of teaching, she became the first African-American to hold the title school principal. She would continue in that position and establish missions in South Africa until 1906. Fannie Jackson Coppin died on January 21, 1913.
A teacher’s school in Baltimore renamed itself Fannie Jackson Coppin Normal School in 1926. Today that school is Coppin State Univeristy.
–Post by Brendan Lyman, Tulane University 2015, member of Tulane Amnesty International