Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America

Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America

by Hilary J. Moss

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While white residents of antebellum Boston and New Haven forcefully opposed the education of black residents, their counterparts in slaveholding Baltimore did little to resist the establishment of African American schools. Such discrepancies, Hilary Moss argues, suggest that white opposition to black education was not a foregone conclusion. Through the comparative lenses of these three cities, she shows why opposition erupted where it did across the United States during the same period that gave rise to public education.

As common schooling emerged in the 1830s, providing white children of all classes and ethnicities with the opportunity to become full-fledged citizens, it redefined citizenship as synonymous with whiteness. This link between school and American identity, Moss argues, increased white hostility to black education at the same time that it spurred African Americans to demand public schooling as a means of securing status as full and equal members of society. Shedding new light on the efforts of black Americans to learn independently in the face of white attempts to withhold opportunity, Schooling Citizens narrates a previously untold chapter in the thorny history of America’s educational inequality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226542515
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 913,461
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Hilary J. Moss is associate professor of history and black studies at Amherst College.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Part 1: Education’s Inequity: New Haven, Connecticut Chapter 1: The Emergence of White Opposition to African American Education Chapter 2: Interracial Activism and African American Higher Education
Part 2: Education’s Enclave: Baltimore, Maryland Chapter 3: Race, Labor, and Literacy in a Slaveholding City Chapter 4: African American Educational Activism under the Shadow of Slavery
Part 3: Education’s Divide: Boston, Massachusetts Chapter 5: Race, Space, and Educational Opportunity Chapter 6: Common Schools, Revolutionary Memory, and the Crisis of Black Citizenship in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Conclusion: The Great Equalizer?
Appendix 1: Index of Occupational Categories Appendix 2: Name, Occupation, and Address of Identifiable Petitioners Opposing the Proposal to Build a School for Black Children on Southack Street
Notes Index

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