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Lucy Craft Laney
Birth: Apr. 13, 1854
Bibb County
Georgia, USA
Death: Oct. 23, 1933
Richmond County
Georgia, USA

Educator and social activist. One of the state of Georgia's most influential educational leaders. Started the first kindergarten in the state of Georgia. Founder and principal of the Haines Institute in Augusta for fifty years (1883-1933). She was a forward thinking person who believed that the only way for blacks to be successful in America was by being well educated. She also believed that in order for the race to continue its women must be educated as well. The seventh of ten children was born eleven years before slavery ended (her parents were former slaves who had bought their freedom). She grew up in a household that encouraged reading, and at an early age showed herself to be an exceptional student. Although there were laws that prohibited blacks from reading during her time, with the help of her slave owner's sister, she was able to read by the time she was four. In 1869 at the age of 15, Laney entered the first class of Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). In 1873, she was graduated with three other students and went on to start a teaching career that would change the lives of an entire community of people and influence the nation. She was also educated at the University of Chicago, Lincoln University and South Carolina State University. She began her teaching career in Macon, Milledgeville, and Savannah before, due to health reasons, settling in Augusta, Georgia. With the encouragement of the Christ Presbyterian Church, USA, she started the first school in Augusta, Georgia for blacks. The school opened on January 6, 1883 in the basement of the Christ Presbyterian Church in the city with little money and only six students. Despite many hardships, her school continued to grow, eventually attracting over 900 students. Laney constantly sought support for her school, and found a generous donor in Francine Haines, an influential member of the Women's Executive Committee of the Home Missions of the Presbyterian church. The school was ultimately named for Haines (chartered in 1886), which graduated its first class in 1888 and continued to grow, offering Augusta's first kindergarten and nurse training program (the Lamar School of Nursing) for African Americans. By 1912 the Haines Institute employed thirty-four teachers and offered a fifth year of college preparatory high school in which Laney herself taught Latin. The school's curriculum provided the students with traditional liberal arts courses as well as vocational programs, which was ground-breaking at the time. Haines graduates matriculated at Howard, Fisk, Yale, and other prestigious colleges, where they reflected the confidence and pride that Laney and her staff had instilled in their students. Among the graduates of Haines Institute were Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Joseph Simeon Flipper, and Frank Yerby. In Augusta Laney helped to found the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in 1918, and she was active in the Interracial Commission, the National Association of Colored Women, and the Niagara Movement. She also helped to integrate the community work of the YMCA and YWCA. Many people were influenced by the work that she did at Haines. Mary McCleod Bethune who worked with Laney for a year was so impressed by her accomplishments that she went to Florida and founded Bethune-Cookman College for blacks. Laney never married, but she was known as a mother because she was so interested in the development of children.In 1974, she was one of the first three African Americans chosen to have their portraits hung in the Georgia state capitol. She also was inducted into Georgia Woman of Achievement in 1992. Haines Institute ceased operations in 1949, sixteen years after Laney's death. On the site of the old school now stands Lucy C. Laney High School in tribute to her contributions to education. 
Lucy Craft Laney Burial Site
Richmond County
Georgia, USA
Plot: Lucy Laney High School
Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Jun 30, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14775435
Lucy Craft Laney
Added by: Grhaney
Lucy Craft Laney
Added by: Grhaney
Lucy Craft Laney
Added by: Grhaney
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An amazing woman who had so many accomplishments during her life. It was a pleasure to read her story.
- Alana Morgan
 Added: Dec. 7, 2014

- Arleta💕
 Added: Apr. 13, 2013
Happy heavenly birthday, Lucy. Rest in peace.
 Added: Apr. 13, 2013
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