Blacks Schools

Black schooling, during the period of Reconstruction, occurred in various locations of the rural south: churches, homes, work-locations, etc. School buildings were constructed from limited resources through collaborations with parents, missionary associations, and civic and church leadership. This image is of a colored school in rural Louisiana (no date).  Although this image may appear to capture an integrated school (not uncommon but fewer in number than all-black schools) some of the students maybe mixed-race, or descendent of mixed race parents.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “Colord School” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 8, 2018.

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Charlotte L. Forten Grimke (1837-1914)

Forten wrote in her diaries on the fortitude of freed people to receive education: “how a people who have been so long crushed to the earth, so imbruted as these have been can have so great a desire for knowledge, and such a capability for attaining it.”

Charlotte Forten [Grimke], born into a prominent Free Black family in Philadelphia, came to Port Royal, South Carolina in 1862. She taught the newly freed people for a couple of years before returning North due to declining health. In 1878 she married the much younger Rev. Francis Grimke, nephew of ardent abolitionists Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke Weld. (Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Library)

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Lottie Grimke" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 1, 2018.

Black Education – Nineteenth Century

This photograph is a model of the more commonly held image of black education in the era of Emancipation and Reconstruction. Taken shortly after the end of the Civil War, the image suggests the leadership of white women and the participation of black children in educational pursuits. Recent scholarship has emphasized the contributions of black teachers (women and men), black soldiers, and black parents in supporting and leading the cause of black education.
Portrait of teacher Laura M. Towne, a founder of the Penn School, with students Dick, Maria and Amoretta. 1866

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

Seated in Higher Learning

[Four African American women seated on steps of building at Atlanta University, Georgia]
Askew, Thomas E., 1850?-1914, photographer
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963, collector
Created [1899 or 1900]
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963. Du Bois albums of photographs of African Americans in Georgia exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print