By Joe M. Richardson, Maxine D. Jones
Even after the optimism of Reconstruction used to be shattered via violence, fraud, and intimidation and the white South relegated African americans to segregated and disfranchised second-class citizenship, the AMA by no means deserted its declare that blacks have been equivalent in God’s sight, that any “backwardness” used to be the results of condition instead of inherent inferiority, and that blacks might and will develop into equivalent voters with different americans. The association went farther in reputation of black skill, humanity, and aspirations than a lot of nineteenth and twentieth century white the USA through publicly and continually opposing lynching, segregation, disfranchisement, and discrimination.
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Additional info for Education for Liberation: The American Missionary Association and African Americans, 1890 to the Civil Rights Movement
Neither had missed a day in twelve weeks. Louise Golding, Normal and Secondary Schools / 21 a senior, and her ninth-grade sister, Edith, walked sixteen miles round-trip to Dorchester in 1919. In 1920, thirty-five Dorchester students walked fifteen miles daily. 13 These eager and self-sacrificing students reflected family and community values. Self-improvement and racial uplift were common themes in the black community, and these ideals were repeatedly reinforced at school. The AMA encouraged its students to go back into the community and assist others.
In 1937, secretary Fred L. Brownlee asked the Macon County school superintendent for assistance. The superintendent replied that he could not give money to private schools. When Brownlee inquired what he would do if the AMA closed Cotton Valley, the superintendent said he would probably establish a one-teacher school for five months. Brownlee asked him to pay one teacher and her students could attend free. The superintendent agreed and later added another teacher. By 1945, the county paid four teachers for eight months and allowed some children to ride the school bus.
They “roused him, made him do extra work, called on his parents and persuaded them to let him go away to school,” Beam said. 18 White teachers rarely gained the “spontaneous confidence” of black stu- 8 / Common Schools dents. “The gulf dug by the white men between the two races” had become too wide, a white teacher wrote in 1909, and parents trained children to distrust whites. However, oppression had made blacks keen judges of character. “They know the difference between assumed and true friendliness, and real kindness will win them,” she added.