Interracial Activism and African American Higher Education

in Schooling Citizens

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226542492
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542515 | DOI:
Interracial Activism and African American Higher Education

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In the early nineteenth century, African Americans' access to primary and religious instruction expanded, with few exceptions. However, higher education remained beyond reach. Most high schools and academies would not accept black students, even when they secured the preparation necessary for advanced study. Hoping to empower black people to access higher education independently, an interracial abolitionist alliance launched a movement in 1831. The alliance wanted to build the nation's first “African” college, and the campaign was spearheaded by Peter Williams, a black minister from New York, and Simeon Jocelyn, a white minister from New Haven. As they discussed the college in New Haven, African Americans in New York pursued a similar objective. Of all northern states in the antebellum period, Connecticut was the most hostile to both abolition and African American education. Yet New Haven's racism and anti-abolitionism were striking.

Keywords: African Americans; higher education; New Haven; Peter Williams; Simeon Jocelyn; New York; Connecticut; racism; anti-abolitionism

Chapter.  7712 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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