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A Brief History of Black Education in America

Ira Revels, Margaret Washington, and Sean Eversley-Bradwell look at American education from the African American perspective.

(Feb 25, 2009 at Cornell University)

– Ira Revels discusses the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in black education during the mid to early 19th century, using images from the HBCU Digital Collection, a collaborative project involving Cornell University Library and twenty-one HBCUs;

– History professor Margaret Washington discusses black education in antebellum New York City, with a focus on the African Free School. At a time when no public education existed, this privately run institution provided formative education for individuals who became the most important African American leaders in the pre-Civil War era;

– Ithaca College Professor Sean Eversley-Bradwell presents the history of black students in Ithaca, NY, revealing numerous examples of resistance and agency. This history helps to map how race impacts and structures local communities.