Talladega College, located in Talladega Alabama, is a private liberal arts college and Alabama’s oldest private historically black college. On November 20, 1865, two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, met with a group of freedmen and pledged to provide education to Black youth. They started with children of former slaves, with the school soon overflowing with pupils. Swayne School was erected after General Swayne persuaded the American Missionary Association to buy the nearby Baptist Academy building and 20 acres of land for $23,000–the same building Savery and Tarrant, along with other slaves, had built. Thus, a building constructed with slave labor for white students became the home of the state’s first private, liberal arts college dedicated to servicing the educational needs of blacks. Swayne school was chartered as Talladega College in 1869.
Notable Alumni Include: biologist and cancer researcher Jewel Plummer Cobb; UNCF president Dr. Herman H. Long; and Margaret Bush Wilson, first Black woman to chair National NAACP Board of Directors.