Chapter

Introduction

in Schooling Citizens

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226542492
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226542515.003.0001
Introduction

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In the early 1830s, a widespread, often violent, white opposition to African American education erupted in America's northern and southern communities. This period coincides with the birth of public education — the so-called rise of the common school. With the onset of institutional segregation coupled with a series of attacks against black schoolhouses, some whites sought to prevent African Americans from pursuing education while many others, including white women and immigrants, were ushered into these “public” institutions. This book investigates why public schooling and white opposition to African American education expanded at the same time. It focuses on three distinct antebellum cities — New Haven, Baltimore, and Boston — where slavery and freedom are both paramount to understanding the relationship between race, citizenship, and educational opportunity. Each chapter examines a distinct theme, from “whiteness” and segregation to higher education, labor, self-education, and American identity.

Keywords: whites; African Americans; public education; segregation; New Haven; Baltimore; Boston; self-education; race; citizenship

Chapter.  4867 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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