The school was founded in 1897 and was known as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University. Langston University was created as a result of the second Morrill Act in 1890. The law required states with land-grant colleges (such as Oklahoma State University, then Oklahoma A&M) to either admit African-Americans, or provide an alternative school for them to attend as a condition of receiving federal funds. Langston University is named for John Mercer Langston (1829–1897), civil rights pioneer, first African American member of Congress from Virginia, founder of the Howard University Law School, and American consul-general to Haiti. It was renamed Langston University in 1941.
Through the years Langston University has developed slowly but surely. Some of the most serious problems have been political influences, financial stress, and lack of adequate space and equipment. During the 1960s the campus underwent a complete makeover. New buildings appeared, and additions were made to the library and auditorium.
The university offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoraldegrees in a variety of disciplines. It is known as a leader in the field of agricultural research, and hosts the internationally recognized E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research. LU has nearly 3,000 students from several states representing a diverse student body at an Oklahoma college.
The university offers the Edwin P. McCabe Honors Program for undergraduate students with exceptional academic records and that satisfy all unique admission requirements.
Langston's marching band is known as the "Marching Pride". The "Marching Pride" is a major ambassador of the university, athletics supporter, and serves as a training center for students interested in pursuing a career in music and/or developing pertinent life skills.
Founding publisher of The Black Scholar (1969-1975) and author of The Black Anglo Saxons. Also wrote the conceptual proposal for the first department of black studies; the first person hired to coordinate a black studies program in the United States (1968).
member of Oklahoma Highway Patrol with the rank of OHP Major and is a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. 2010 Nominee to be Oklahoma Secretary of Safety & Security as well as Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety