WSIU, African American Museum Host Screening

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 7, 2018 | Go to article overview

WSIU, African American Museum Host Screening


Byline: pete spitler pspitler@localsouthernnews.com

February is Black History Month, and WSIU and the African American Museum of Southern Illinois hosted a free screening of "Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities" Thursday at University Mall.

The film tells the story of the rise of African-American education from the dawn of the Civil War to present day, while highlighting the struggles of advancing civil rights and the influence of prominent black leaders including Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois.

In the days of slavery, white plantation owners would intentionally keep slaves from becoming educated and acquiring knowledge. The film explains that when enslaved people saw white people reading, they referred to it as "talking to books."

The popular belief at the time was if African-Americans could get knowledge, other things would follow.

After emancipation, formerly enslaved people opened schools, where they "taught what they knew." If they only had a sixth-grade education, they only taught to sixth grade.

A movement soon started to train African-Americans to actually teach, and by the late 1800s, there were 86 black colleges in the South. …

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