(WTVM) - From entertainers to activists, some of the most prominent and successful professionals attended a historically black college (HBCU).
HBCUs were originally created prior to the American Civil War to provide former slaves with the education and training to become teachers. Cheyney and Lincoln universities, both located in Pennsylvania, are two of the earliest established HBCUs.
Since it's origin, HBCUs have evolved to over 100 higher learning institutions and are the alma mater of where astronauts, professional athletes, four-star generals and more.
Even some of today's most famous entertainers, entrepreneurs, and activists, have walked the halls of an HBCU.
Oprah Winfrey is a Tennessee State University graduate and is now a media proprietor, talk show host, philanthropist and actress Oprah Winfrey graduated from Tennessee State University in 1973.
Academy award nominated actress, Taraji P. Henson is a Howard University graduate. Morehouse serves as the alma mater for actor Samuel L. Jackson, and film producer Spike Lee.
HBCUs still stand today and continues to evolve to provide students programs in astronomy, biology, chemistry, math, physics, and more.