The ASU movement began with the impetus to establish a school for Black Alabamians. The Civil War resulted in not only the end of slavery, but also in the opportunity for Blacks to have the right to education. ASU was born out of this movement.
ASU is the global entity it is today because of the fortitude of nine freed slaves from Marion, Ala., who sought to build a school for African-Americans previously denied the right to an education. These nine co-founders and original trustees, with assistance from Marion community members, raised $500 for land, and on July 18, 1867, filed incorporation papers to establish the Lincoln Normal School at Marion.
The Lincoln School opened its doors on November 13, 1867, with 113 students. In 1873, this predecessor of Alabama State University became the nation’s first state-sponsored liberal arts institution for the higher education of Blacks, beginning ASU’s rich history as a “Teacher’s College”, and establishing ASU as one of the nation's oldest institutions of higher education for Black Americans.