Spelman College is a four-year institution of higher learning located in Atlant. The college is the oldest black college for women in the United States. Founded in 1881 as a seminary, it received its collegiate charter in 1924. Along with the other thousands of less famous alumni, many famous women have attended or graduated Spelman College over the years.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel, "The Color Purple," Alice Walker briefly attended Spelman College in 1965. In addition to being a novelist, Walker is also a noted feminist. She coined the term "womanist" to describe the experience of being both black and female.
Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman graduated from Spelman College in 1960. Edelman is a well-known activist who has taken on the role of fighting for the rights of children. She was the first African American ever admitted to the Mississippi Bar, and in 1973 she founded the Children's Defense Fund.
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Keshia Knight Pulliam graduated from Spelman College in 2001. Pulliam is an actress who is best known for playing Rudy, the youngest daughter on "The Cosby Show." She successfully made the transition into adult actress with her role on "Tyler Perry's House of Payne."
Esther Rolle attended Spelman College in the early 1940s but did not graduate. Rolle was a successful theater actress until she landed the role of the housekeeper named Florida on the controversial 1970s CBS sitcom "Maude." So beloved was her character that she was spun off onto her own sitcom titled "Good Times."
Marcelite J. Harris
Marcelite J. Harris graduated from Spelman College in 1964. Harris achieved what at one time was considered to be the unthinkable when she became the very first female African American to rise to the level of general in the United States Air Force.
Cassi Davis graduated Spelman College in 1988. She is a successful actress who has appeared in a number of projects directed by Tyler Perry. Like her fellow alum Keshia Knight Pulliam, Cassi Davis also appeared in "Tyler Perry's House of Payne."
Rolanda Watts graduated Spelman College in 1980. After gaining work as a TV reporter, she briefly hosted her own Oprah-like talk show. She has also been an actress on such shows as "JAG" and "The West Wing" as well as the soap operas "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "Days of Our Lives."
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