Langston University is located in Langston, Oklahoma, one of the state's historic all-black towns. It is just ten miles east of Guthrie and not far from Oklahoma City. The only historically black college in the state, it was founded in 1897. Originally known as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural & Normal University, it was renamed after civil rights activist and first African American congressman John Mercer Langston in 1941. Langston is the home of the Lions and was the filming location of the second season of BET's show "College Hill."
The Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center is also on campus. It houses a collection of over 7,000 volumes of books, black newspapers and periodicals . It also houses several African artifacts and has been a great source of information on African American culture, music and history since its opening in January of 1970.
Langston has been home to many great students and professors. Poet Melvin B. Tolson who was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film "The Great Debaters" taught here from 1947 to 1964. Dallas Cowboy Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson attended school here as well as Bessie Coleman, the first female African American pilot and civil aviator. Civic leader Clara Luper, music superstar Jennifer Hudson, pro basketball player Marques Haynes and Senator Constance N. Johnson all attended Langston as a part of their education.