A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and by Audrey Thomas McCluskey

By Audrey Thomas McCluskey

Emerging from the darkness of the slave period and Reconstruction, black activist girls Lucy Craft Laney, Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Nannie Helen Burroughs based faculties aimed toward freeing African-American adolescence from deprived futures within the segregated and decidedly unequal South. From the past due 19th via mid-twentieth centuries, those contributors fought discrimination as individuals of a bigger move of black ladies who uplifted destiny generations via a spotlight on schooling, social carrier, and cultural transformation. Born loose, yet with the shadow of the slave prior nonetheless implanted of their attention, Laney, Bethune, Brown, and Burroughs equipped off every one other’s successes and realized from each one other’s struggles as directors, teachers, and suffragists. Drawing from the women’s personal letters and writings approximately academic equipment and from remembrances of surviving scholars, Audrey Thomas McCluskey unearths the pivotal value of this sisterhood’s legacy for later generations and for the establishment of schooling itself.

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Extra resources for A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and Activists in the Jim Crow South

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Wright for the job of principal of what was then the only public black high school in the state. But Wright resigned in 1891, sensing a slackening of support and meddling by the school board, which wanted to restrict the curriculum and the school’s growth. Wright named the school Asa Edmund Ware High, in honor of the founder of Atlanta Uni- 28 Chapter 2 versity, and under his leadership, it was easily on par with or exceeded the quality of Augusta’s white high schools. 87 This reversal of fortune for Ware High may have convinced Laney that blacks could not depend on public education and needed to have their own mission schools with their own agenda.

Mary White Ovington, Portraits in Color (New York: Viking Press, 1927), 62. 48. Catherine Owens Peare, Mary McLeod Bethune (New York: Vanguard Press, 1951), 76. 49. Audrey Thomas McCluskey, “Most Sacrificing Service,” in Women of the American South: A Multicultural Reader, ed. Christie Anne Farnham (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 189–203. 50. Rouse, Lugenia Burns Hope, 6. 51. Janie Porter Barrett to William Harmon Foundation, Lucy Laney Correspondence in Harmon Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Lucy Craft Laney file.

Daniel Scott Smith, “Family Limitation, Sexual Control, and Domestic Feminism in Victorian America,” Feminist Studies 1, no. 3/4 (Winter–Spring 1973): 40–57. 39. Laney, “Burden,” 341–44 40. Laney, “Burden,” 341–44. 41. Laney, “Burden,” 341–44. 42. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, “African-American Women’s History and the Metalanguage of Race,” Signs 17, no. 2 (Winter 1992): 251–74. 43. Carol Allen, Black Women Intellectuals: Strategies of Nation, Family, and Neighborhood in the Works of Pauline Hopkins, Jessie Fauset, and Marita Bonner (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), 4.

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