The historical progression and current condition of African American education in Maury County, Tennessee from slavery until 1998

Joe Patrick Cornelius, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to chronicle and evaluate the historical progression of education for African Americans in Maury County from slavery until 1998. A brief historical sketch of African American education in the South was chronicled and several methodologies were utilized to determine the current condition of African American students and teachers in Maury County. ^ The historical method of research was utilized in conducting this study. Primary and secondary information was collected and compiled into a historical narrative. Primary data employed in this study include minutes and reports from the Maury County Board of Education, questionnaires, personal interviews, and letters from the Office of Civil Rights, and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Secondary sources include daily newspapers, annual district reports, teacher roll books, and student records. ^ Findings indicate that education began in Maury County with a primarily industrial education for slaves, and a more foundational education beginning slightly prior to the end of the Civil War. Early schools in Maury County were established through the efforts of the Methodist church, philanthropist such as Julius Rosenwald, and the Freedmen's Bureau. Schools changed only moderately during the period following reconstruction until 1956, when due to political pressure from the Federal government, Maury County began to implement its first Freedom of Choice initiatives. In 1969 under court order and threats of monetary cuts from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Maury County closed the county's all black institutions and enforced strict busing and zoning policies to completely integrate the schools. The resulting ramifications for African Americans in Maury County are mixed in nature. There is a critical shortage of African American teachers, there are still gross inequities in student achievement and there are still completely segregated white schools in Maury County. However, students in Maury County seem to enjoy an amenable atmosphere in the integrated school system. They have access to many of the same opportunities as their white counterparts and as a group have achieved academically and socially in numerous ways. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|History, Black|Education, History of

Recommended Citation

Joe Patrick Cornelius, "The historical progression and current condition of African American education in Maury County, Tennessee from slavery until 1998" (1999). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007600.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007600

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