Segregation and Desegregation at The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. has a complex history of inclusion and exclusion based on race. This history is reflected in its policies of segregation and desegregation spanning the late nineteenth through the first half of the twentieth century. This exhibit offers an overview of that history, recounting how the University was founded in the 1880s with an admissions policy of accepting African American students, came to embrace official exclusion of Black students through segregation after 1914, then ended its exclusion of Black students with the integration of its Sisters College in 1936. The exhibit reviews the school's prehistory with respect to African Americans, the official practices of segregation and desegregation after the school was established in 1887, and includes highlights of contributions of particular African American students who attended the school from the 1890s-1970s period.