Interview with Charles Epps

Tell me about a Howard as a capstone of Black education and about the prominent leaders and what they had done in this country for Black people and how it made you feel when you first got there.


Well, when I came to Howard University in 1947 it was regarded by people all over the country as the capstone of Negro education. There had been many people who had graduated from Howard since it was started in 1867 and these people had contributed significantly to the life of the country and of course to the Negro race. There were still many outstanding people on the faculty in that time and to name just a few there, in medicine there was Charles Drew, in physics, Herman Branson, in chemistry there was Lloyd Ferguson and Percy Julian had been a member of the faculty there. In English there was Sterling Brown, in history Raford Logan and John Hope Franklin. In law there was, ah, James Nabrit who later became president. Of course at that time Mordecai Johnson was president. But, ah, these were all people who had, ah, sig- played a significant role in the life the University but in the life of the country as well. And so it made me feel very proud to be a, a member of that academic community and, and it afforded me an opportunity to get a first class education from teachers who were revered, not only by the students, but who were recognized as authorities by the nation at large.