Southern University and A&M College had its beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1880 when a group of Black politicians, led by former U.S. Senator P.B.S. Pinchback of New Orleans; a distinguished legislator, T.T. Allain of Iberville; and Henry Demas of St. John Parish petitioned the State Constitutional Convention to establish a school of higher learning for “colored” people. As a result of this petition, Southern University came into existence on April 10, 1880, by the passage of ACT 87 of the Louisiana General Assembly. This was the date on which funds were appropriated by the State of Louisiana for the establishment of an institution of higher learning for African Americans.