Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Association for the Study of African American Life and History 102nd Annual Meeting & Conference

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Association for the Study of African American Life and History 102nd Annual Meeting & Conference

Article excerpt

September 27- October 1, 2017

The theme for 2017 "The Crisis in Black Education", focuses on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans. ASALH's founder Carter G. Woodson once wrote that "if you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race." Woodson understood well the implications associated with the denial of access to knowledge, and he called attention to the crisis that resulted from persistently imposed racial barriers to equal education. The crisis in black education first began in the days of slavery when it was unlawful for slaves to learn to read and write. In pre-Civil War northern cities, free Black people were forced as children to walk long distances past white schools on their way to the one school relegated solely to them. Whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America from the late nineteenth century well into our own time.

Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and continuing today, the crisis in African American education has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a racial achievement gap, and confront policies that fail to deliver substantive opportunities. The touted benefits of education remain elusive to many Black people of all ages. Tragically, some poorly performing schools serve as pipelines to prison for youths.

Yet, African American history is rich in centuries-old efforts of resistance to this crisis: the slaves' surreptitious endeavors to learn; the rise of Black colleges and universities after the Civil War; unrelenting battles in the courts; the African American history movement; the freedom schools of the 1960s; and local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire a love of learning and thirst for achievement. Addressing the crisis in Black education should be considered one of the most important goals in America's past, present, and future.

Deadlines for submission of proposals are as follows: Early Bird submission deadline for individual papers and organized panels is April 15th. …

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