Early educators and supporters of Florida A&M University’s predecessor, State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students, knew what a proper education should be. The story map explores their alma maters, displaying portraits, catalogue records, or images of the institution.

State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students, the predecessor of Florida A&M University, was a dream that took years to come into fruition. Convention delegates, politicians, educators, and community members all had to come together to build and sustain the institution. That Thomas V. R. Gibbs introduced legislation for the establishment was almost a guarantee that Black educators would be central to the institution unlike other Black educational institutions of the time. Many of these institutions were established and sustained by the American Missionary Association who believed Black people were not equipped to teach in the early years of Reconstruction. This belief ignored the educational opportunities many Blacks took advantage of throughout the nineteenth century and the work of Black educational activists. Thus, we must ask two questions of these early educators in Tallahassee: who were these educators and where were they educated?