New Black College Founded in Oakland, California

The nation’s 103 historically black colleges and universities are almost exclusively in the South or the border states. But now a new educational institution wants to create a black college atmosphere in Oakland, California. Liberation University opened this semester. It has 25 students and holds classes in a local church. But founder Cheryl Ward, an associate pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church where the classes are held, has a vision to create a fully accredited educational institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a wide range of academic fields.

For those who are skeptical that Liberation University can succeed, Ward notes that in 1881 Spelman College, the highly prestigious college for black women in Atlanta, started in a church basement with only 11 students.