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Photos from daily life at HBCUs show moments of joy and activism

Homecoming queens, civil rights activists, and national heroes.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, known as HBCUs, have a storied place in American society, acting as central organizing spaces, cultural bulwarks, and institutions for the education of Black communities before desegregation. These schools still serve a vital role today, but their rich histories — from successful sports teams to homes for national heroes — aren't as widely publicized.

A recent initiative from Getty Images is supporting efforts to preserve visual stories and histories from HBCUs. The following images were digitized as part of the Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in partnership with the Getty Family and the philanthropic network Stand Together. The program awards a $500,000 grant to digitize up to 200,000 archival photos supplied by colleges and universities.

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