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“ Like the Sunlight of Heaven” The African American Quest  for Education,  Providence: 1819-1866
African American Educational Opportunities prior to 1820 <ul><li>Instruction in home of white employers </li></ul><ul><li>...
African Union Meeting  and School House <ul><li>1819 – Construction began at Meeting & Congdon Streets on land donated by ...
School Act of 1828 <ul><li>RI legislature passed School Act establishing & funding public school system </li></ul><ul><li>...
“Colored” Schools <ul><li>1828 - Meeting Street School was created for African American children </li></ul><ul><li>1837 – ...
School Committee Records Providence School Committee, meeting minutes, 1837 Payment authorization for repairs to  “African...
Providence School System, 1850 <ul><li>43 Schools: </li></ul><ul><li>1 high school (ages over 12-14) </li></ul><ul><li>7 g...
Map of Providence, 1849
Problems with “Colored” Schools <ul><li>Children had to walk long distances to reach assigned school </li></ul><ul><li>Poo...
Desegregation Campaign George Henry George Downing Petition to legislature for equal school rights, 1864
Public Appeals
Public Law 1866, Chapter 609
High School Enrollment Maritcha  Rémond  Lyons, first African American graduate of Providence High Providence  High  School
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Providence School Desegregation, 1819-1866

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Providence School Desegregation, 1819-1866

  1. 1. “ Like the Sunlight of Heaven” The African American Quest for Education, Providence: 1819-1866
  2. 2. African American Educational Opportunities prior to 1820 <ul><li>Instruction in home of white employers </li></ul><ul><li>Private schools, both free and fee based </li></ul><ul><li>Sabbath schools </li></ul>
  3. 3. African Union Meeting and School House <ul><li>1819 – Construction began at Meeting & Congdon Streets on land donated by Moses Brown </li></ul><ul><li>1820 – First classes held with ~100 pupils </li></ul><ul><li>Tuition was $1.50 per quarter </li></ul><ul><li>School had difficulty finding and retaining suitable teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Classes were irregular </li></ul>
  4. 4. School Act of 1828 <ul><li>RI legislature passed School Act establishing & funding public school system </li></ul><ul><li>Mandated that each RI city establish a School Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Charged with administering all schools within the city </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inspected & reported on all schools quarterly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensured that school facilities were maintained </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hired & fired teachers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. “Colored” Schools <ul><li>1828 - Meeting Street School was created for African American children </li></ul><ul><li>1837 – Pond Street was built on west side of Providence for African Americans </li></ul>Old Brick Schoolhouse, site of Meeting Street School
  6. 6. School Committee Records Providence School Committee, meeting minutes, 1837 Payment authorization for repairs to “African School House,” 1831 Count of Students attending the “African Schools,” 1837
  7. 7. Providence School System, 1850 <ul><li>43 Schools: </li></ul><ul><li>1 high school (ages over 12-14) </li></ul><ul><li>7 grammar schools (ages 8 or 9-12 or 14) </li></ul><ul><li>14 intermediate schools (ages 6-8 or 9) </li></ul><ul><li>21 primary schools (ages 4-7) </li></ul><ul><li>Of these, 3 are for African American children </li></ul>
  8. 8. Map of Providence, 1849
  9. 9. Problems with “Colored” Schools <ul><li>Children had to walk long distances to reach assigned school </li></ul><ul><li>Poorly staffed </li></ul><ul><li>No high school for African Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities inadequate </li></ul><ul><li>Special school carries stigma of inferiority </li></ul>
  10. 10. Desegregation Campaign George Henry George Downing Petition to legislature for equal school rights, 1864
  11. 11. Public Appeals
  12. 12. Public Law 1866, Chapter 609
  13. 13. High School Enrollment Maritcha Rémond Lyons, first African American graduate of Providence High Providence High School

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