Here are a few short items you may want to explore in more detail. Did you know…
U. S public education, for Blacks and Whites, did not begin in the South until Reconstruction. The Department of Education was established in 1867, encouraged by George Peabody who gave two million dollars to help public education in the South and to establish Howard University. By 1870 public schools were present in every state. Unfortunately, the economic depression of 1873 caused many to close.
During the early 1900s a partnership between Julius Rosenwald, a philanthropist and president of Sears Roebuck, and Booker T. Washington, famed Black leader and educator, built more than 5000 state of the arts Rosenwald Schools for Black children in rural parts of the Southern U.S. One of those schools was in Shiloh from the 1920s until 1969. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Anderson Rosenwald School currently being preserved as a community cultural center in Mars Hill.
1865-1910 North Carolina established it’s first colleges and universities for Black students. North Carolina currently has the most students enrolled in HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) than any other state. The first university is Shaw University (1865). Other N.C. HBCUs are: Barber-Scotia College, Bennett College, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone University, North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine University and Winston-Salem State University.
On February 1, 2021, West Asheville’s Vance Elementary received a new name. It is now Lucy S.Herring Elementary School. Ms. Herring (1900-1995) was a N.C. social reformer and educator for 52 years, spending 35 of those years in Asheville and Buncombe County. She began teaching in Swannanoa at age 16. Later she taught at Hill Street Elementary and Stephens Lee High School. She was also Principal at Mountain Elementary School which was later named in her honor and operated from 1961-1967. She founded a summer reading clinic for teachers and was Director of Reading at Livingstone College. For more details about her life and impressive career see “Celebrating Asheville Educator, Lucy Saunders Herring” – UNC Asheville Special Collections & University Archives)
Tune in to “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song” on PBS
The history of Black Christianity in the United States, narrated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard University Historian, will be shown in two hour segments on PBS, Feb. 16 and 23rd, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. On Feb. 25th at 7 p.m., we will have a chance to discuss what we learned and questioned with Allen Mullinax and Jesse Dingle via Zoom. Gates, who is critical of the Black church’s homophobia and male dominance, nevertheless celebrates a culture of survival, worship and praise. John Legend was executive producer. Oprah named the show.