YaleNews | In the shadows no more: Divinity School honors Minister James W.C. Pennington:
"James W.C. Pennington, an escapee from slavery and aspiring minister, attended classes at Yale Divinity School during the 1830s. He was refused enrollment in the school and barred from speaking in class. Even borrowing books from the library was off limits. He could sit in the back of the classroom and listen. A degree was out of the question. Hungering for an education, Pennington took what was offered and made the most if it. The first African American to study at Yale, Pennington became a renowned pastor, respected civic leader, and leading abolitionist. Writing years after he left New Haven, he emphasized the crucial role of education in fully breaking the bonds of slavery. "