Conventional wisdom holds that freedmen's education was largely the work of privileged, single white northern women motivated by evangelical beliefs and abolitionism.Schooling the Freed Peopleshatters this notion entirely.For the most comprehensive quantitative study of the origins of black education in freedom ever undertaken, Ronald E. Butchart combed the archives of all of the freedmen's aid organizations as well as the archives of every southern state to compile a vast database of over 11,600 individuals who taught in southern black schools between 1861 and 1876. Based on this path-breaking research, he reaches some surprising conclusions: one-third of the teachers were African Americans; black teachers taught longer than white teachers; half of the teachers were southerners; and even the northern teachers were more diverse than previously imagined. His evidence demonstrates that evangelicalism contributed much less than previously believed to white teachers' commitment to black students, that abolitionism was a relatively small factor in motivating the teachers, and that, on the whole, the teachers' ideas and aspirations about their work often ran counter to the aspirations of the freed people for schooling.The crowning achievement of a veteran scholar, this is the definitive book on freedmen's teachers in the South as well as an outstanding contribution to social history and our understanding of African American education.
Subjects: Sociology, Education, History
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