Introduction: New Perspectives on African American Educational History

By Perkins, Linda M. | The Journal of African American History, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

Introduction: New Perspectives on African American Educational History


Perkins, Linda M., The Journal of African American History


While individual articles are published regularly on various aspects of African American educational history, collections of original, scholarly essays devoted specifically to this topic have been rare. It has been nearly twenty-five years since the volume on new research and interpretations of black educational history, edited by V. P. Franklin and James D. Anderson, appeared. (1) New Perspectives on Black Educational History explored the contributions of black women educational leaders Fanny Jackson Coppin and Lucy Laney, northern philanthropy and African American education, African American professional education, and the role of black social, political, and cultural institutions in sponsoring formal and informal educational programs and activities in their communities. (2)

This Special Issue of the Journal of African American History presents new research by scholars who embrace a broad conceptualization of African American educational history. Some of these essays offer new sources and interpretations of topics discussed in earlier scholarship, while others open up new areas for scholarly examination. These works span the period from the 1860s and the schooling provided to formerly enslaved African Americans during and after the Civil War to African American women and the creation of Women's Studies Programs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Heather Andrea Williams' "'Clothing Themselves in Intelligence': The Freedpeople, Schooling, and Northern Teachers, 1861-1871" demonstrates the agency of African Americans in their quest for literacy training and schooling during and after the Civil War. (3) Williams presents new evidence and interpretations of the responses of the northern teachers and missionaries to the intellectual abilities displayed by the formerly enslaved children . Their mental acumen and steady academic progress seriously challenged the white northerners' preconceived notions about the "educability of the Negro."

In the essay "'Womanhood Glorified': Nannie Helen Burroughs and the National Training School for Women and Girls, Inc., 1909-1961," Traki L. Taylor expands our knowledge of the contribution of black women educators and school founders. Black women educators, such as Fanny Jackson Coppin of the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Lucy Laney of Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia, and Charlotte Hawkins Brown of Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina, headed co-educational institutions. In contrast, Burroughs, like Mary McLeod Bethune, who established the Daytona Industrial School for Girls in Daytona, Florida, in 1904, focused her attention on the education of African American girls. Burroughs demonstrated her commitment to the elevation of black girls and women through her emphasis on the three B's--the Bible, the Bathtub, and the Broom." As a result, many critics labeled Burroughs the female Booker T. Washington, who was training black girls and women to become domestic servants. Howev er, Taylor challenges these views of Burroughs' educational objectives and practices and argues that the National Training School prepared students to become independent and pursue a wide range of occupations and careers. (4)

Whereas the first two essays focus on literacy training and elementary and secondary education, the next three essays focus on significant historical issues in African American higher education. In the essay "Howard University and U.S. Foreign Affairs during the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, 1933-1945," Clifford L. Muse, Jr., examines the activities and perspectives of Howard's faculty, administrators, and students on the major foreign policy issues at home and abroad, especially those affecting people of African descent. While much has been written on the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche, who served as head of the Political Science department of Howard University in the 1930s and later as a member of the United Nations Secretariat after World War II, Muse highlights the activities of other well known professors, including historians Charles H. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introduction: New Perspectives on African American Educational History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.