Lucy Craft Laney Biography

Educator(1854–1933)
Lucy Craft Laney was a school teacher and educator who opened a school for African-American students in the South in the late 1800s.

Synopsis

Lucy Craft Laney opened her own school in 1883, which became known as Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. By the end of the second year, there were more than 200 African-American students enrolled, and the school was one of the first to offer kindergarten classes for African-American children in the South. She also opened a training center so that black women could train as nurses.

Early Life

Lucy Craft Laney was born on April 13, 1854, in Macon, Georgia. The daughter of former slaves, Laney was taught by her mother to read at a young age. She grew from an eager reader to a dedicated educator who spent much of her life teaching African-American students. At the age of 15, Laney enrolled at Atlanta University. She graduated in 1873 and spent several years working as a teacher before opening her own school in Augusta, Georgia, in 1883.

The Haines Normal and Industrial Institute

Lucy Craft Laney's school, which later became known as the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute, started out small with only a handful of students. By the end of the second year, there were more than 200 African-American students enrolled. Over the years, Laney made many improvements and additions to the school's offerings. In the 1890s, the school was one of the first to offer kindergarten classes for African-American children in the South. She also opened a training center so that black women could train as nurses. The school's curriculum provided the students with traditional liberal arts courses as well as vocational programs, which was ground-breaking at the time.

Death and Legacy

Lucy Craft Laney died on October 23, 1933, in Augusta, Georgia. A pioneering educator, she led the way for many other educational leaders, including Mary McLeod Bethune and Charlotte Hawkins Brown.

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