Elias Neau, a Frenchman, operated a school for African Americans in New York as early as 1704.
The first blacks to be employed as teachers were named Harry and Andrew (last names unknown). They started a school for slaves in South Carolina, where they taught basic reading and writing.
The first black school in U.S. history was the New York Free African School, created in 1787 by the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this was the most recognized independent school for African Americans.