By Adam Fairclough
During this significant venture, civil rights historian Adam Fairclough chronicles the odyssey of black academics within the South from emancipation in 1865 to integration 100 years later. No publication previously has supplied us with the total tale of what African American lecturers attempted, accomplished, and did not do in instructing the Southern black inhabitants over this serious century. This magisterial narrative bargains a daring new imaginative and prescient of black academics, equipped from the tales of actual women and men, from academics in one-room shacks to professors in pink brick universities. Fairclough explores how lecturers encouraged and encouraged generations of kids, instilling values and information that nourished racial satisfaction and a wish for equality. whilst, he indicates that they weren't simply educators, but in addition missionaries, politicians, neighborhood leaders, and racial diplomats. Black lecturers needed to negotiate continuously among the white gurus who held the handbag strings and the black community's grassroots resistance to segregated criteria and white energy. lecturers have been a part of, but additionally except, the bigger black inhabitants. frequently missed, and sometimes lambasted, by way of either whites and blacks, lecturers have been tireless foot infantrymen within the lengthy civil rights fight. regardless of most unlikely odds--discrimination, forget, occasionally violence--black lecturers engaged in a power and eventually heroic fight to make schooling a way of liberation. a category in their personal is essential for realizing how blacks and whites interacted and coexisted after the abolition of slavery, and the way black groups constructed and coped with the demanding situations of freedom and oppression. (20070201)
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Additional info for A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South
Outside the towns and cities, the scale of illiteracy among blacks was overwhelming. 6 percent of the state’s total black population. 24 Literacy, however, was only part of the problem. The freedmen’s aid societies shared a belief that mere literacy did not equip a person to be a teacher. Teachers should ideally possess “normal training,” that is, training in pedagogy of the kind taught in the “normal schools” of the North. Teaching was still a young profession in 1860, but the professional expertise had been developed in the North.
Absent from their plantations for much of the year, large slaveholders relied upon “key slaves” to act as stewards. Brothers Jefferson and Joseph Davis placed the management of their plantation at Davis Bend, Mississippi, in the hands of Benjamin Montgomery. In towns, businessmen turned trusted slaves into clerks and secretaries. ”12 Slaveholders also ﬂouted the ban on slave literacy because it clashed with their Christian faith. They believed that slaves should be furnished proper religious instruction.
It did its best to undermine the SEA, and eventually the AMA gained control of Savannah’s black schools. “A good northern teacher can do more for ﬁfty [pupils] than a southern born colored teacher for thirty,” claimed Rev. E. A. 23 Arrogance and condescension tinged such criticism. Yet the fact that black northerners also disdained native black teachers suggests that a belief in the superiority of Yankee culture, rather than racial prejudice, may have been the most salient issue. Francis Cardozo, the colored superintendent of AMA schools in Charleston, South Carolina, preferred to appoint northern teachers, black or white.