Educational Reconstruction received several mentions in the news. The work received a mention in the “On the Bookshelf” section of the Franklin and Marshall Magazine. In addition, the author was profiled alongside her father, an alumnus, in the “Legacy and Loyalty” section of the Spring 2016 issue. For the full issue, see http://www.fandm.edu/magazine/magazine-issues/spring-2016.
In recognition of the dynamic work being done by black women scholars, Sowande’ Mustakeem and Keisha N. Blain have compiled a list of 70 new and forthcoming books on a range of topics from the era of slavery to the post-Civil Rights era. Educational Reconstruction’s inclusion was apart of an expansion of Sowande’ Mustakeem’s original #TheHistorySoundtable list of 40 key works by black women scholars.
It is truly an honor to have the book recognized in the listing of new and forthcoming books. Collectively, as #Thehistorysoundtable II: 70 Recent History Books By Black Women argues, the selected works “shed light on how black women scholars are shaping and defining the fields of United States history, African history, and African Diaspora History. We encourage educators to incorporate these works into their syllabi for fall courses, and invite these scholars to their campuses to share their exciting research with colleagues and students.” For the full article, see http://www.aaihs.org/thehistorysoundtable-ii-70-recent-history-books-by-black-women/.
Many thanks to the editors of the Franklin and Marshall Magazine, Sowande’ Mustakeem, Keisha N. Blain, and the AAIHS (African American Intellectual History Society).
On April’s Fools’ Day, Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 made its official debut. I began working on the topic in 2002 when my mother asked a very interesting question – was there anything positive (other than the black church) that survived Reconstruction? It was such a simple question and my inadequate response that propelled me into writing about the growth of African American public education after the Civil War.
Now, in 2016, I can finally answer my mother’s original question. It was the public schools. While not perfect, the public schools never closed in either Mobile or Richmond because black parents, community leaders, and even students successfully argued that the schools were their fundamental right as citizens. These urban African Americans never lost sight of their vision of citizenship and freedom in their struggle for educational access and legitimacy for the African American schoolhouse. Their vision, therefore, allowed for the emergence of a sustainable system of public schools but also the employment of black teachers, creation of teacher training program, and the development of the essential educational resources. Together, the public schoolhouse and the church survived Reconstruction. Both were essential for the next phase of the African American experience even when the nation failed to uphold the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, black leaders failed, and people tried to find their way against extreme odds to live with dignity.
Reconstruction matters. It remains one of the most misunderstood periods in American history and there is a lot of scholarly work that needs to be done. Redemption (so-called) neither stopped black activism nor prevented significant victories from occurring in African Americans’ quest for citizenship and education. We need to examine the periodization of Reconstruction and terms taken for granted – i.e. Redemption and even the Nadir. We, as historians, need to find a way to discuss the role and power of hope in understanding the post-emancipation period. We also need to think more seriously about bringing our knowledge and expertise beyond the academy and into the broader public.
P.S. You can follow news on the book at https://www.facebook.com/Educational-Reconstruction-African-American-Schools-in-the-Urban-South-1543618449295898/.
You can now pre-order my book, "Educational Reconstruction" from Fordham University Press. It is scheduled for an April 2016 release!
From the catalog: Tracing the first two decades of state-funded African American schools, Educational Reconstruction addresses the ways in which black Richmonders, black Mobilians, and their white allies created, developed, and sustained a system of African American schools following the Civil War.
Hilary Green proposes a new chronology in understanding postwar African American education, examining how urban African Americans demanded quality public schools from their new city and state partners. Revealing the significant gains made after the departure of the Freedmen’s Bureau, this study reevaluates African American higher education in terms of developing a cadre of public school educator-activists and highlights the centrality of urban African American protest in shaping educational decisions and policies in their respective cities and states.
Available now at Fordham University Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble!
Historian, educator, and informed citizen concerned about social justice, equity, and access.