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

By Adam Fairclough

During this significant project, civil rights historian Adam Fairclough chronicles the odyssey of black academics within the South from emancipation in 1865 to integration 100 years later. No e-book beforehand has supplied us with the total tale of what African American academics attempted, accomplished, and did not do in teaching the Southern black inhabitants over this serious century. This magisterial narrative deals 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 inspired generations of youngsters, instilling values and information that nourished racial delight and a wish for equality. even as, he indicates that they weren't simply educators, but additionally missionaries, politicians, group leaders, and racial diplomats. Black academics needed to negotiate always among the white experts 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 in addition except, the bigger black inhabitants. frequently missed, and sometimes lambasted, by means 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 continual and finally heroic fight to make schooling a method of liberation. a category in their personal is critical for figuring out how blacks and whites interacted and coexisted after the abolition of slavery, and the way black groups built 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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An instinctive desire to seek security within the group, and a corresponding fear that to become educated was to risk isolation from the group, fed distrust of education. 18 It would be false, then, to depict teachers as community leaders who enjoyed unalloyed support from parents and pupils. Indeed, it was a source of frustration to many teachers that ministers commanded greater prestige and influence within black communities. The fact that so many ill-educated ministers taught school—and often failed to observe the strict personal morality expected of other teachers—increased that resentment.

Even if they guarded against snobbery, it was hard not to think in terms of higher and lower, inferior and superior. Teachers everywhere bemoaned the “ignorance” and “superstition” that they saw all around them. Those who prized books often felt painfully isolated, unable to discuss ideas and literature. Moreover, unless teachers reverted to black vernacular, which many of them had never picked up, their “correct” English made everyday communication a trial. In 1875 Charles W. Chesnutt, then teaching in rural North Carolina, complained, “The people don’t know words enough for a fellow to carry on a conversation with them.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, J. E. Jones gave food to a “sick Confederate soldier” in return for lessons. As Union armies invaded the Confederacy, northern missionaries and teachers followed. At first the schools they opened were confined to patches of coast seized early in the war: Hampton and Norfolk, Virginia; New Bern, North Carolina; the sea islands of Port Royal, South Carolina. By the end of the war they were also operating in inland areas that covered large black populations. Under General John Eaton, more than one hundred instructors taught in fifty-one freedmen’s schools in — 34 — Freedom’s First Generation the cities of Memphis, Vicksburg, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff, as well as in plantation areas such as Davis Bend, Mississippi.

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