A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and by Audrey Thomas McCluskey

By Audrey Thomas McCluskey

Emerging from the darkness of the slave period and Reconstruction, black activist ladies Lucy Craft Laney, Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Nannie Helen Burroughs based colleges geared toward freeing African-American adolescence from deprived futures within the segregated and decidedly unequal South. From the past due 19th via mid-twentieth centuries, those contributors fought discrimination as individuals of a bigger move of black girls who uplifted destiny generations via a spotlight on schooling, social carrier, and cultural transformation. Born loose, yet with the shadow of the slave previous nonetheless implanted of their attention, Laney, Bethune, Brown, and Burroughs equipped off each one other’s successes and realized from each one other’s struggles as directors, academics, and suffragists. Drawing from the women’s personal letters and writings approximately academic equipment and from remembrances of surviving scholars, Audrey Thomas McCluskey finds the pivotal importance of this sisterhood’s legacy for later generations and for the establishment of schooling itself.

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Extra info for A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and Activists in the Jim Crow South

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The Ohio native also believed in black education, but unlike Ware, Armstrong opposed education beyond what he considered their menial capacities. 60 Although Armstrong graduated from Williams College, a private eastern liberal arts institution, he rejected that path for blacks, believing that they lacked the moral and intellectual stamina for such an education. ” Atlanta University’s liberal arts curriculum was modeled upon the New England schools Ware knew best. He recruited Yale classmates and other northerners to join him as teachers and promoted an egalitarian spirit in campus life by integrating the dining hall where the mostly white faculty and the black student body ate.

The work for which she was being honored began with a curriculum of basic primary-level work, but there is no documentation of what she taught the five girls and one boy who were her first students. We do know that Laney developed a pioneering kindergarten program and steadily expanded and upgraded the courses. By the 1890s the curriculum included English, mathematics, the Bible, biology, physics, sociology, French, Latin, Greek, and political science. There were several courses in music and history—ancient history, United States history, and Negro history.

Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, 111. 76. Dittmer, Black Georgia, 199. 77. Anderson, Education of Blacks, 7. 78. Dittmer, Black Georgia, 146. 79. Edward Cashin, The Quest: A History of Public Education in Richmond County, Georgia (Augusta: Richmond Board of Education, 1985), 34. 80. Dittmer, Black Georgia, xi. 36 Chapter 2 81. Margaret Louise Laney, “Miss Lucy Laney and Early 20th Century Education,” Oral Memoirs of Augusta Citizens, Vol. 3, Augusta Oral History Project (6 February 1967), 14. 82. June O.

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