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Schooling the Movement

The Activism of Southern Black Educators from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era

edited by Derrick P. Alridge, Jon N. Hale, and Tondra L. Loder-Jackson

Published: May 4 2023


Published: May 4 2023


Published: May 4 2023

OA Ebook
Published: May 4 2023


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

A fresh examination of teacher activism during the civil rights movement

Southern Black educators were central contributors and activists in the civil rights movement. They contributed to the movement through their classrooms, schools, universities, and communities. Drawing on oral history interviews and archival research, Schooling the Movement examines the pedagogical activism and vital contributions of Black teachers throughout the Black freedom struggle. By illuminating teachers' activism during the long civil rights movement, the editors and contributors connect the past with the present, contextualizing teachers' longstanding role as advocates for social justice. Schooling the Movement moves beyond the prevailing understanding that activism was defined solely by litigation and direct-action forms of protest. The contributors broaden our conceptions of what it meant to actively take part in or contribute to the civil rights movement.

Derrick P. Alridge is Philip J. Gibson Professor of Education and an affiliate faculty member in the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.

Jon N. Hale is associate professor of education and educational history at the University of llinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tondra L. Loder-Jackson is professor of educational foundations, history, and African American studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"African American educators have been given a bad rap in much of the literature on the civil rights movement. They have been accused of standing on the sidelines as their students and community members organized protests challenging racially discriminatory practices in southern society. Schooling the Movement challenges earlier perspectives on Black educators by documenting the radical pedagogy they practiced in providing an alternative curriculum highlighting African Americans' achievements and significant impact on American life and culture. Utilizing archival materials, a wide range of Black publications, and oral interviews, the contributors to Schooling the Movement focus on "educator activism" before and during the civil rights era. This impressive volume changes our understanding of the multidimensional roles Black educators played in advancing past and present movements for social change."—V. P. Franklin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Education, University of California, Riverside and author of The Young Crusaders: The Untold Story of the Children and Teenagers Who Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement and The Education of Black Philadelphia: The Social and Educational History of a Minority Community, 1900-1950

"By revealing the often-dismissed activism of Black teachers, Derrick P. Alridge, Jon N. Hale, and Tondra L. Loder-Jackson's well-written edited volume removes Black teachers' civil rights contributions from the proverbial 'back of the civil rights history bus' to claim their rightful place as crucial components in understanding African American movements for social justice."—Sonya Y. Ramsey, professor of history and women's and gender studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and author of Bertha Maxwell-Roddey: A Modern-Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership

"Successfully filling a gap in the history of the African American civil rights struggle, Schooling the Movement traces the role and success of educators in advancement of justice and equality. While there are many books and articles addressing the use of litigation and direct-action protest, none, until now, have focused on the role of Black educators."—Tim Dodge, Auburn University, The Southeastern Librarian

"For readers looking for a detailed but readable re-examination of the role that educators played in supporting the Civil Rights movement—one that debunks the myth of the nonparticipant Black teacher corps that was too scared to speak up for Civil Rights—Schooling the Movement provides an excellent option."—South Carolina Libraries

Winner of the 2024 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

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