Lucy Laney

Lucy Laney
Lucy Laney

Lucy Craft Laney

1853–1933

Lucy Craft Laney was an American educator who in 1883 founded the first school for black children in Augusta, Georgia. She was principal for 50 years of the Haines Institute for Industrial and Normal Education.

After teaching school for 10 years in Macon, Georgia, Laney started her own high school in Augusta, GA for African American boys and girls in 1886.

Originally called Miss Laney’s School, it was renamed Haines Normal and Industrial Institute after Mrs. Haines of the Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who provided $10,000 for that expansion.  

Believing that the best way for African Americans to be successful was by being well educated, in 1890, Lucy Laney also started the first kindergarten for African American children in Augusta, Georgia.

As an early individual member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in 1917 Miss Laney opened her home for 27 local residents to hold the charter meeting of the Augusta Branch of the NAACP. The chapter was composed of Haines graduates and other influential educators, entrepreneurs, physicians, religious leaders, railroad, and federal employees.

Two schools have been named for Lucy Craft Laney, on in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the other in Augusta, Georgia.

Learn about the documentary film made about her life. Love Them First.