From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875 (Paperback)Christopher M. Span (author)
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The primary debate centered on whether schools for African Americans (mostly freedpeople) should seek to develop blacks as citizens, train them to be free but subordinate laborers, or produce some other outcome. African Americans envisioned schools established by and for themselves as a primary means of achieving independence, equality, political empowerment, and some degree of social and economic mobility--in essence, full citizenship. Most northerners assisting freedpeople regarded such expectations as unrealistic and expected African Americans to labor under contract for those who had previously enslaved them and their families. Meanwhile, many white Mississippians objected to any educational opportunities for the former slaves. Christopher Span finds that newly freed slaves made heroic efforts to participate in their own education, but too often the schooling was used to control and redirect the aspirations of the newly freed.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 15 mm
A useful addition to critical studies of African American education in the post Civil War South. . . . [A] deeply researched study.--Arkansas Review
Impressively researched. . . . An important contribution to the overlapping literatures of freedmen's education and Reconstruction.--American Historical Review
An illuminating account....Span has written the first comprehensive history of black public education in Mississippi between 1862 and 1875....From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse is an engrossing account of public education in Mississippi....[and] a welcome contribution to the historiography of southern black education.--The Journal of African American History
Span provides a useful study of the formation of segregated education in a Deep South state." --Journal of American History
A valuable new study. . . . Expands the consensus understanding of this subject to new terrain. . . . A well-written narrative interspersed with illustrative anecdotes.--Journal of Southern History
Christopher Span's deeply researched study is in large measure the story of hopes denied and dreams deferred....It does begin to fill an historical void and to illustrate the long-frustrated efforts of Mississippi freed people to seek learning as the means to throw off the shackles of slavery and oppression.--Arkansas Review
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