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By Dennis Romero

Morehouse College, the uniquely black, male alma mater of Martin Luther King Jr., Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, announced Saturday that it will begin accepting transgender men as students in fall 2020.

College officials said in a statement that the new policy, approved by trustees, would not include "individuals who identify as women regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth."

Students who transition to female during their time at the Atlanta school will not be eligible to graduate but can appeal to Morehouse's president, officials said.

"I think Morehouse having the courage to speak to issues of masculinity in today’s environment is important,” Morehouse College President David Thomas told the Associated Press. "For 152 years, the world has, in some way, seen Morehouse as the West Point of black male development."

Morehouse is the sole historically black college to admit only men. Neighboring Spelman College, which educates African American women, adopted a similar admissions policy in 2017, leading to its first transgender woman graduate last year.

The Morehouse policy was developed over 15 months.

"In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we’re proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years,” Terrance Dixon, the school's enrollment vice president, said in the statement.

Associated Press contributed.