By Adam Fairclough

ISBN-10: 0674023072

ISBN-13: 9780674023079

ISBN-10: 0674036662

ISBN-13: 9780674036666

During this significant venture, civil rights historian Adam Fairclough chronicles the odyssey of black lecturers within the South from emancipation in 1865 to integration 100 years later. No ebook in the past has supplied us with the total tale of what African American lecturers attempted, completed, and didn't do in teaching the Southern black inhabitants over this severe century. This magisterial narrative bargains a daring new imaginative and prescient of black academics, equipped from the tales of genuine women and men, from lecturers in one-room shacks to professors in crimson brick universities. Fairclough explores how academics encouraged and inspired generations of youngsters, instilling values and information that nourished racial delight and a hope for equality. even as, he exhibits that they weren't simply educators, but additionally missionaries, politicians, neighborhood leaders, and racial diplomats. Black lecturers needed to negotiate always among the white gurus who held the handbag strings and the black community's grassroots resistance to segregated criteria and white strength. academics have been a part of, but additionally except, the bigger black inhabitants. usually overlooked, and sometimes lambasted, by way of either whites and blacks, academics have been tireless foot infantrymen within the lengthy civil rights fight. regardless of most unlikely odds--discrimination, overlook, occasionally violence--black lecturers engaged in a continual and eventually heroic fight to make schooling a way of liberation. a category in their personal is crucial for figuring out 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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Extra info for A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South

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In short, the challenge of securing effective teachers and establishing good schools strained black solidarity. The southern black population, moreover, did not constitute a unified community. Despite a shared history of oppression and the continuing weight of racial discrimination, the black society that emerged from slavery exhibited differences of class, color, origin, culture, religion, and politics. The departure of blacks from the South’s white churches was a strong assertion of racial independence, but the rivalry between black Methodist denominations and the more numerous black Baptist churches divided many communities.

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. Massachusetts had pioneered public education in the form of “common schools” for the masses, and other northern states had followed. Although the South was not the morass of ignorance it was often made out to be— New Orleans and North Carolina, for example, had developed fairly extensive public school systems before the Civil War—in most of the South there were few common schools.

The largest and best-organized system of freedmen’s schools could be found in New Orleans, the largest city in the South, captured by Union forces in April 1862. For the 180,000 blacks who joined the Union army and navy, many of them former slaves, military encampments doubled as schools. 19 In the dying months of the war and the first days of freedom, blacks with a smattering of letters scrambled to extend their literacy. ” Armed with a copy of Webster’s “blue-back” spelling book, he paid a poor white boy ten cents a lesson.

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A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South by Adam Fairclough


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