Local Application: Uplifting a "New" South (Click here to sample the Georgia team's application of this theme.)
In Georgia, Educating for Citizenship team members studied Spelman College as an example of collaboration between blacks and whites to create an empowering educational institution for African Americans in the decades after the Civil War. Setting this achievement within a larger context that sometimes questioned the ability of the freed peoples to become fully enfranchised citizens, participants read poetry and prose by Frances Harper about the post-Civil War learning needs of blacks in the South, correspondence between local schoolteachers and Freedmen's Bureau administrators, and periodical literature of the 1870s and 1880s about the best goals for educating African Americans. Focusing specifically on Spelman's story, team members collected oral histories and archival materials, including turn-of-the-century copies of The Spelman Messenger, a bulletin about college students and graduates. All along the way, team members considered how they might encourage their students' awareness that the educational opportunities many take for granted today were gained only through prolonged collaborative efforts that should be honoredand may often need to be replicatedby diverse American community members today.
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