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Daring to Educate: The Legacy of the Early Spelman College Presidents

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Overview

While President Emerita Johnnetta B. Cole is credited with propelling Spelman College (the oldest historically Black womens’ college) to national prominence, little is generally known about the strong academic foundation and legacy she inherited. Contrary to popular belief, the first four presidents of Spelman (including its two co-founders) were White women who led the early development of the College, armed with the belief that former slaves and free Black women should and could receive a college-level education.

This book presents the history of Spelman’s foundation through the tenure of its fourth president, Florence M. Read, which ended in 1953. This compelling story is brought up to date by the contributions of Spelman’s current president, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and by Johnnetta B. Cole.

The book chronicles how the vision each of these women presidents, and their response to changing social forces, both profoundly shaped Spelman’s curriculum and influenced the lives and minds of thousands of young Black women. The authors trace the evolution of Spelman from its beginning–when the founders, aware of the limited occupations open to its graduates, strove to uplift the Black race by providing an academic education to disenfranchised Black women while also providing training for available careers--to the fifties when the college became an exemplar of liberal arts education in the South.

This book fills a void in the history of Black women in higher education. It will appeal to a wide readership interested in women’s studies, Black history and the history of higher education in general.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579221089
  • Publisher: Stylus Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Johnnetta B. Cole is the current president of Bennett College and President Emerita of Spelman College.

Yolanda L. Watson is Managing Partner, Principal Consultant and Senior Researcher, Strategic Consulting Solutions, in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Sheila T. Gregory is Associate Professor, Higher Education and Educational Leadership, at Clark Atlanta University School of Education.

Beverly Daniel Tatum is the author of the Epilogue and the current President of Spelman College. She is also the author of "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race" (Basic Books) and "Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community" (Greenwood Publishing).

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Table of Contents

Foreword : heir to the Spelman legacy
1 Introduction 1
2 The higher education of black women 39
3 Our whole school for Christ : the Packard and Giles administrations (1881-1909) 63
4 New directions : toward collegiate status : the Lucy Hale Tapley administration (1910-1927) 83
5 Onward and upward - the creation of a liberal arts institution : the Florence Read administration (1927-1953) 117
6 The socialization of Spelman students 133
7 Conclusion 155
Epilogue : the Spelman legacy lives on 163
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