Lucy Craft Laney
|Lucy Craft Laney|
April 13, 1854|
Macon, Georgia, United States
|Died||October 24, 1933(aged 79)|
|Residence||1116 Phillip Street, Augusta, Georgia|
University of Chicago
South Carolina State College
|Alma mater||Atlanta University|
|Employer||Haines Normal and Industrial School|
|Known for||Principal and Founder of Haines Normal and Industrial School, Augusta, Georgia|
Lucy Craft Laney (April 13, 1854 – October 24, 1933) was an early African American educator who established a school for African American children in Augusta, Georgia. Jimmy Carter selected her portrait to hang in the Georgia State Capitol.
She was born in Macon, Georgia, on April 13, 1854, to Louisa and David Laney. Her father was a former slave who managed to save enough money to free both himself and his wife. Both of her parents were strong believers in education and were very giving to strangers; an atmosphere, which would heavily influence Laney in her life to come. At the time of her birth it was illegal for blacks to read; however with the assistance of Ms. Campbell, the slave owner’s sister, she was able to start reading as early as the age of four. Her education would continue and in 1869 she entered Atlanta University.
After graduating she spent some time as a teacher in Macon, Milledgeville, Georgia and Savannah, Georgia before deciding to open a school of her own. The school she opened would be the first in Augusta, Georgia for black children. With an original class size of only six, Laney managed to stimulate interest within the community enough that by the end of the second year the schools roster had jumped to 234 students. With the increase in students came a need for more funding. Looking to help expand her school she turned to the Presbyterian Church Convention and pleaded her case there in front of her peers. Her request was initially denied and she was sent on her way; however upon returning home one of the attendee’s, a Mrs. Francine E.H. Haines, declared an interest in her school and donated $10,000. With this money Laney was able to fund a proper school and decided to change the name of her school to The Haines Normal and Industrial Institute.
The school eventually grew to encompass an entire city block of buildings. By 1928, the school's enrollment was over 800 students.
Besides her school for black children, Lucy Craft Laney also opened the first black kindergarten and the first black nursing school in Augusta, Georgia.
- Leslie, Kent Anderson. "Lucy Craft Laney". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- Yenser, Thomas, ed. (1933). Who's Who in Colored America: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Persons of African Descent in America 1930-1931-1932 (Third ed.). Brooklyn, New York: Who's Who in Colored America
- Lucy Craft Laney at Find a Grave