top of page

Looking at the history behind Langston University, Oklahoma's only HBCU

Black History Month Spotlight:

A look at Langston University history with our own Dr. Lynne Simpson-Scott Harding.



About 40 miles north of Oklahoma City in rural Logan County sits a college campus surrounded by pastures and farmland. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Langston University is Oklahoma’s first and only HBCU – with nearly 3,000 students across its three campuses in Oklahoma and with 40 undergrad and graduate degree programs.

“And we are named after John Mercer Langston. A lot of people ask if we are named after Langston Hughes. No. This is Langston Hughes’ uncle,” said Lynne Simpson, the dean and director of libraries at Langston University.

Simpson told KOCO 5 that what you see at Langston University today is the culmination of hard work and the dreams of former slaves and their children.

So, how did Langston University start?