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Black Schools in the Segregated South

In the 19th century, Horace Mann constructed an “American” ideology for schooling that evoked the belief that the United States' strength would be linked to its capacity to educate its citizens. Vocal advocates such as Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster, and Thomas Jefferson espoused similar beliefs in a previous generation. All understood and postulated education as a means of cementing the American experiment in democracy, especially where urbanization and immigration threatened disunity. Yet, their vision of schooling for creating American citizens did not extend to Black children in segregated schools in the South. Throughout their existence, Black schools, and the education therein, remained the centerpiece in a battle between external forces seeking to limit, repress, or reshape citizenship for Black Americans and the expectations of Black ...

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