African American Educational Activism under the Shadow of Slavery

in Schooling Citizens

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226542492
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542515 | DOI:
African American Educational Activism under the Shadow of Slavery

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In Baltimore, black parents, teachers, and activists succeeded in schooling black children beneath the shadow of slavery by carefully exploiting African Americans' socioeconomic position in the city. As a result, they were able to sustain white lenience by framing their educational objectives in terms that complemented whites' economic self-interest. Black activists timed their actions by knowing, for example, when the political climate was favorable to petition the city for school funds and when they thought their efforts would just go to waste. The free blacks of Baltimore created a network of educational institutions that did not, at least overtly, challenge the racial order. Instead, they combined their activism with compromise to make the city an enclave of educational opportunity in the slaveholding South.

Keywords: activism; Baltimore; African Americans; slavery; whites; school funds; free blacks; educational opportunity

Chapter.  11661 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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