A national controversy regarding the education of African American students played out in the building before you. Throughout its history, Storer College faced great difficulty attracting funding. Most white benefactors favored trade school training for African American students. In order to attract better financial backing, Storer College opened this industrial arts building in 1905. The following year, W.E.B. DuBois spoke out on this campus against training only the hands and not the minds of African American students.
We want our children trained as intelligent human beings should be and we will fight for all time against any proposal to educate black boys and girls simply as servants and underlings, or simply for the use of other people. They have a right to know, to think, to aspire.
1906 Address to the Nation
delivered on the Storer College campus
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Despite the controversy, students continued to earn liberal arts degrees from the school until it closed in 1955.
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Storer students took industrial arts training in carpentry, upholstering and caning in these classrooms.
Storer College struggled to find funding for liberal arts courses such as this chemistry class.