The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935

January 25, 2020 - Comment

James Anderson critically reinterprets the history of southern black education from Reconstruction to the Great Depression. By placing black schooling within a political, cultural, and economic context, he offers fresh insights into black commitment to education, the peculiar significance of Tuskegee Institute, and the conflicting goals of various philanthropic groups, among other matters. Initially, ex-slaves

James Anderson critically reinterprets the history of southern black education from Reconstruction to the Great Depression. By placing black schooling within a political, cultural, and economic context, he offers fresh insights into black commitment to education, the peculiar significance of Tuskegee Institute, and the conflicting goals of various philanthropic groups, among other matters.

Initially, ex-slaves attempted to create an educational system that would support and extend their emancipation, but their children were pushed into a system of industrial education that presupposed black political and economic subordination. This conception of education and social order–supported by northern industrial philanthropists, some black educators, and most southern school officials–conflicted with the aspirations of ex-slaves and their descendants, resulting at the turn of the century in a bitter national debate over the purposes of black education. Because blacks lacked economic and political power, white elites were able to control the structure and content of black elementary, secondary, normal, and college education during the first third of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, blacks persisted in their struggle to develop an educational system in accordance with their own needs and desires.

Product Features

  • University of North Carolina Press

Comments

Anonymous says:

In defense of black desire for education This is a masterful book, full of many insights and corrections of historical misconceptions. Its most important point: blacks in slave-holding states have always valued education, and did everything in their power to promote education of black children, even during slavery. They were responsible for the setup of public education during Reconstruction, a point others have acknowledged, but more original is Anderson’s description of the remarkable sacrifices of money, labor, and time that…

Anonymous says:

I learned so much about post-civil war education from this … I learned so much about post-civil war education from this text. I find it infuriating that this information is kept from our students in K-12. Our entire education system, such as it is, is owed to African Americans. Americans who question the notion of white privilege need to start with this text.

Anonymous says:

My favorie book of all time! I found this history to be fascinating. Dr. Anderson research is meticulous. He exposes how African Americans worked to educate themselves during slavery and after, from native schools to their fight for universal education. As an educator of the inner city, I hold this history as a sign of resiliency, dedication and fortitude.Every educator should read this book in order to understand how a people so vested in education continue to struggle to achieve it.

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