The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935

The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935

JAMES D. ANDERSON
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 381
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9780807898888_anderson
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  • Book Info
    The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-0443-5
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-3)

    The history of American education abounds with themes that represent the inextricable ties between citizenship in a democratic society and popular education. It is crucial for an understanding of American educational history, however, to recognize that within American democracy there have been classes of oppressed people and that there have been essential relationships between popular education and the politics of oppression. Both schooling for democratic citizenship and schooling for second-class citizenship have been basic traditions in American education. These opposing traditions were not, as some would explain, the difference between the mainstream of American education and some aberrations or isolated...

  5. 1 EX-SLAVES AND THE RISE OF UNIVERSAL EDUCATION IN THE SOUTH, 1860–1880
    (pp. 4-32)

    Former slaves were the first among native southerners to depart from the planters’ ideology of education and society and to campaign for universal, state-supported public education. In their movement for universal schooling the ex-slaves welcomed and actively pursued the aid of Republican politicians, the Freedmen’s Bureau, northern missionary societies, and the Union army. This uprising among former slaves was the central threat to planter rule and planters’ conceptions of the proper roles of state, church, and family in matters of education. The South’s landed upper class tolerated the idea of pauper education as a charity to some poor white children,...

  6. 2 THE HAMPTON MODEL OF NORMAL SCHOOL INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, 1868–1915
    (pp. 33-78)

    It is one of the great ironies of Afro-American history that the ideological and programmatic challenge to the ex-slaves’ conception of universal schooling and social progress was conceived and nurtured by a Yankee, Samuel Chapman Armstrong, and a former slave, Booker T. Washington. But even as the leaders of the ex-slave class struggled to build an educational system to help reinforce their conceptions of freedom and social order, there was born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1868, a conjuncture of educational pedagogy and social ideology of different origins and character. Armstrong represented a social class, ideology, and world outlook that was...

  7. 3 EDUCATION AND THE RACE PROBLEM IN THE NEW SOUTH: THE STRUGGLE FOR IDEOLOGICAL HEGEMONY
    (pp. 79-109)

    Of all the topics covered in southern black educational history, the reforms and debates that began in the late 1890s and ended around 1915 have been examined most thoroughly. Still, fundamental misunderstandings persist. Indeed, particular distortions and half-truths, which have been developed and repeated in a series of fine monographs, have evolved into the standard interpretation of southern educational reform at the turn of the century. A synopsis of this interpretation would run as follows: philanthropic northerners, perturbed by the social and economic hindrances placed on black southerners by white southerners, sought “to cushion the Negro against the shock of...

  8. 4 NORMAL SCHOOLS AND COUNTY TRAINING SCHOOLS: EDUCATING THE SOUTH’S BLACK TEACHING FORCE, 1900–1935
    (pp. 110-147)

    At the dawn of the twentieth century, the various proponents of universal elementary education for black southerners, irrespective of their unique social and educational ideology, recognized a common problem: the infrastructure necessary for a viable black public school system did not exist. Nearly two-thirds of the black children of elementary school age were not enrolled in school, primarily because there were not enough school buildings or seating capacity to accommodate the overwhelming majority of these children. Another serious problem was the great shortage of black teachers. No adequate common schools could be developed until there were black teachers to teach...

  9. 5 COMMON SCHOOLS FOR BLACK CHILDREN: THE SECOND CRUSADE, 1900–1935
    (pp. 148-185)

    Public elementary schools became available to the majority of southern black children during the first third of the twentieth century, long after common schools had become universal for other American schoolchildren. For the nation outside of the South, the common school crusade occurred between 1830 and 1860. Ex-slaves, as explained in Chapter 1, waged the first crusade for state systems of common schools in the American South following the Civil War. Although they succeeded in instituting a public school system in a region where universal public education had been unknown, it was only partially developed when the planters returned to...

  10. 6 THE BLACK PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL AND THE REPRODUCTION OF CASTE IN THE URBAN SOUTH, 1880–1935
    (pp. 186-237)

    During the period from 1880 to the mid-1950s almost all of the few black high schools in the South were located in urban areas. Hence the study of the development of black secondary education necessitates an examination of the interrelationship between education and political economy in the urban South. The most oppressive feature of black secondary education was that southern local and state governments, though maintaining and expanding the benefits of public secondary education for white children, refused to provide public high school facilities for black children. Almost all of the southern rural communities with significantly large Afro-American populations and...

  11. 7 TRAINING THE APOSTLES OF LIBERAL CULTURE: BLACK HIGHER EDUCATION, 1900–1935
    (pp. 238-278)

    From the Reconstruction era through the Great Depression black higher education in the South existed essentially through a system of private liberal arts colleges. During this period, the federal government gave scant aid to black land-grant schools, and the southern states followed with a few funds for black normal schools and colleges. Between 1870 and 1890, nine federal black land-grant colleges were established in the South, and this number increased to sixteen by 1915. In that same year, there were also seven state-controlled black colleges in the South. These black federal land-grant and state schools, however, were colleges or normal...

  12. EPILOGUE: BLACK EDUCATION IN SOUTHERN HISTORY
    (pp. 279-286)

    The educational sphere in the postbellum South was, among other things, an ideological medium through which northerners and southerners posed and apprehended fundamental questions of class, culture, race, and democracy. Black education was one of the central arenas for that struggle to define social reality and shape the future direction of southern society. Without question, it was not as important as economics or politics, but, perhaps, it was a better lens through which to comprehend the separate and distinct social visions of a New South. For it was through differing forms of training the young that each class and race...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 287-312)
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 313-352)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 353-366)