Call for chapters for book on African American high schools.
(Tentative Title) The Proper Education of the Negro Race: The First High Schools for African Americans
During the Reconstruction era, many state governments mandated the opening of public schools to all children; however, school district leaders did little to make the mandate a reality. Instead, African American social networks comprised of ministers, attorneys, doctors, and independent service providers formed to ensure local school districts created schools for African Americans. Leveraging their social and cultural capital, they utilized people positioned in strategic leadership jobs to force school boards to implement federal and state laws for educating all children. Often, their advocacy resulted in petitioning school boards to make schools for African Americans comparable to white institutions. African American high schools are a result of community activism. Though initially many of these facilities housed elementary and high school children, initiatives by community networks developed these schools into institutions that attracted African American teaching talent from across the nation, expanded curriculum that prepared children for college, and sometimes birthed normal schools, precursors to historically Black colleges and universities.
The concept of social and cultural capital explains the generative nature of social capital (e.g., collaboration of people resources) and the ability to use it to reproduce knowledge and social networks (Coleman, 1988; Orr, 1999). An individual receives his social capital from his family, and it determines his trajectory in life (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990). In the larger society, class plays a significant role; wealthy and middle-class individuals typically have more transferrable resources than lower-class individuals. Consequently, the former yields more power over the latter. Most African Americans after the Civil War were overwhelmingly poor; therefore, efforts to improve the lives of the poor emanated from the development of community leaders who first improved their lives through education and in turn, used their knowledge to help others.
This book will generate more discussion on the following topics: the role of social networks in the development of African American high schools, high schools’ connection to the community, prominent administrators, teachers, and students’ contributions to the schools and society. Last, we seek to examine the survivability of these schools and their role in society today. The proposed book is a vehicle for historians, educators, sociologists, and others to give voice to the community stalwarts, administrators, teachers, graduates, and students (if schools continue to be in operation), who were responsible for these neighborhood institutions. Chronicling these narratives will also contribute to the literature about the many African American institutions countering repressive policies and social issues that negatively impacted the education of children of color.
- (Tentative) Table of contents may list either (a) preselected schools or (b) states* and allow authors to select high school:
- Sumner High School (Harris-Stowe State University), St. Louis, Missouri*
- Booker T. Washington High School, Atlanta, Georgia*
- Pearl High School, Nashville, Tennessee*
- Institute for Colored Youth (Cheney University), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania*
- Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma*
- Howard High School, Wilmington, Delaware*
- A. H. Parker High School, Birmingham, Alabama*
- Frederick Douglass High School, Baltimore, Maryland*
- Beulah Normal and Theological School, Alexandria, Virginia*
- Paul L. Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C.*
- Allen School, Asheville, North Carolina*
- Dudley High School, Greensboro, South Carolina*
- Louisville Central High School, Louisville, Kentucky*
- McKinley High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana*
- Wechsler High School, Meridian, Mississippi*
- Booker T. Washington High School, Houston, Texas*
- Manual High School, Denver Colorado*
- L.C. Alexander High School, Austin Texas*
Submission and Review Process
Original chapter submissions, unpublished, and not under review by any journal or publisher are invited.
Vanessa Garry firstname.lastname@example.org