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Chapter 4: Education, African Americans, and Slavery
The schooling situation for African Americans was vastly different in the North than it was in the South, even before the Revolutionary War. From these early days, there was a potent connection between emancipation and education. Those who favored freedom for all American Blacks viewed education and emancipation as inextricably connected. “The truth shall set you free” was a Bible verse often quoted by educators of the time (Barry, 1870), who declared that education of African Americans was a necessary step toward emancipation and the fruits of full citizenship. In contrast, many slave owners in the South feared that if slaves learned to write, they would inspire rebellion (Van Horne, 1985; Woodson, 1915).