Recent Books on African American Educational History

Article excerpt

William H. Watkins, The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954. New York: Teachers College Press, 2001. 207 pp. Paper, $19.95.

William H. Watkins, James H. Lewis, and Victoria Chou, eds., Race and Education: The Roles of History and Society in Educating African American Students. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001. 238 pp. Paper, $62.00.

Karen A. Johnson, Uplifting the Women and the Race: The Educational Philosophies and Social Activism of Anna Julia Cooper and Nannie Helen Burroughs. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000. 185 pp. Cloth, $65.00.

Anna Victoria Wilson and William E. Seagall, Oh, Do I Remember! Experiences of Teachers During the Desegregation of Austin's Schools, 1964-1971. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. 186 pp. Cloth, $59.50; Paper, $19.95.

Vivian Gunn Morris and Curtis L. Morris, The Price They Paid: Desegregation in an African American Community. New York: Teachers College Press, 2002. 128 pp. Paper, $19.95.

Adam Fairclough, Teaching Equality: Black Schools in the Age of Jim Crow. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001. 110 pp. Cloth, $24.95.

Henry N. Drewry and Humphrey Doermann, Stand and Prosper: Private Black Colleges and Their Students. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. 335 pp. Cloth, $29.95.

Robert A. Pratt, We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the University of Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002. 205 pp. Cloth, $29.95.

Maurice C. Daniels, Horace T. Ward: Desegregation of the University of Georgia, Civil Rights Advocacy, and Jurisprudence. Atlanta, GA: Clark Atlanta University Press, 2001. 256 pp. Cloth, $29.95.

Several recent historical studies have shed varying degrees of light on the educational experiences of people of African descent in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. In The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954 and the essay "Blacks and the Curriculum: From Accommodation to Contestation and Beyond" in Race and Education: The Roles of History and Society in Educating African American Students, William H. Watkins examines the ideological principles guiding the corporate and industrial philanthropists' efforts to influence the type of schooling made available to southern black children at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The impact of "scientific racism," the eugenics movement, and the activities of the industrial philanthropists and their minions, including J. L. M. Curry, Samuel C. Armstrong, Anson Phelps Stokes, Robert Ogden, and Thomas Jesse Jones, on southern black education has been examined in earlier historical works. Wat kins' contribution is the emphasis he places on the social construction of the school curriculum and the political compromises inherent in its development over time. Watkins reminds us that "schools, curriculum, culture, and social ideas are all contested terrains," and the educators and educated are engaged in a dialectical relationship that influences historical changes and continuities (White Architects, 179).

Karen A. Johnson's Uplifting the Women and the Race: The Educational Philosophies and Social Activism of Anna Julia Cooper and Nannie Helen Burroughs provides important insights into the ideological formations of African American women educators within the context of evolving black feminist theories. While Johnson provides the essential biographical information on Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964) and Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879-1961), the study emphasizes black women's "ways of knowing" that informed their educational and social activism. Johnson reveals Cooper's and Burroughs' pedagogies to be "political and revolutionary" and "rooted in an anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-classist struggle." And both were committed to the education of the girls and women for the advancement of the entire group. …