Between 1900 and 1909, there were about 1,600 black college graduates.
By 1915 that total had risen to more than 5,300. W. E. B. Du Bois referred to these college-educated blacks as the “Talented Tenth,” although they made up much less than one-tenth of the African American population, which totaled about ten and a half million by 1920.
Du Bois believe that African Americans would be “saved” by this small educated black elite.
About 2,000 blacks attended college in 1917.