Southern University’s 51st Anniversary

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Southern University is significant in Louisiana history because it provided an avenue of higher education attainment for many African Americans who would not have had the opportunity due to segregation of the races. The State Legislative Act 87 incorporated the institution. Its doors opened in March 7, 1881 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The University existed there until Legislative Act 118  closed the New Orleans location and established a new Campus on Scott’s Bluff in Baton Rouge. The original charter was retained.

The March 9, 1965 edition of the Southern University Digest was dedicated to the history of Southern University after its move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1914. An interesting editorial questioned the exclusion of thirty-years from its existence. The entire newspaper was presented to let the reader get a situational glimpse of the facilities, the Vietnam-era times and our thoughts at that time.

Interestingly, Southern University provided the inspiration for competition for  African American High Schools in the state. The Louisiana Interscholastic Athletic and Literary Association (LIALO, LIALA) was established in 1928 to bridge the gap for African American students in secondary schools so their success could be realized. The Significant Notes, History Section on this website contains a Southern University Digest publication, March 9, 1965, Number 11.  A detailed history of Southern University can be found.


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