Book

Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

Stephanie Y. Evans

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032689
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039299 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032689.001.0001
Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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This book chronicles the stories of African American women who struggled for and won access to formal education, beginning in 1850, when Lucy Stanton, a student at Oberlin College, earned the first college diploma conferred on an African American woman. In the century between the Civil War and the civil rights movement, a critical increase in black women's educational attainment mirrored unprecedented national growth in American education. The author reveals how black women demanded space as students and asserted their voices as educators — despite such barriers as violence, discrimination, and oppressive campus policies — contributing in significant ways to higher education in the United States. She argues that their experiences, ideas, and practices can inspire contemporary educators to create an intellectual democracy in which all people have a voice. Profiles include Anna Julia Cooper, who was born enslaved yet ultimately earned a doctoral degree from the Sorbonne, and Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman College. Exposing the hypocrisy in American assertions of democracy and discrediting European notions of intellectual superiority, Cooper argued that all human beings had a right to grow. Bethune believed that education is the right of all citizens in a democracy. Both women's philosophies raised questions of how human and civil rights are intertwined with educational access, scholarly research, pedagogy, and community service. This history of black women traces quantitative research, explores black women's collegiate memories, and identifies significant geographic patterns in America's institutional development.

Keywords: African American women; education; intellectual democracy; Anna Julia Cooper; Mary McLeod Bethune

Book.  288 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Table of Contents

Introduction “This Right to Grow” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“A Plea for the Oppressed” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“The Crown of Culture” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“Beating Onward, Ever Onward” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“Reminiscences of School Life” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“I Make Myself Heard” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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“The Third Step” in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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Research in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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Teaching in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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Service in Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954

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