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Ava Chamberlain (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


The purpose of this study was to examine the causes that led African Americans to resist industrial education higher education, which ended industrial training programs in predominantly Black colleges and universities during the 1920s.

Three key factors helped create this reform movement: 1) the death of Booker T. Washington; 2) the improved educational levels of African Americans; and 3) the rise in aspirations of African Americans to expand the benefits of higher education. The loss of the Civil War caused a reorientation of southern and economic conditions.

Newly freed slaves had to be granted citizenship. Southern Whites were more concerned with rebuilding the South while holding onto the power. Several key characters emerged as leaders within the debate of African American education during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Armstrong, Washington, and Jones were among the many supporters of industrial education, while DuBois and Miller supported the argument of the liberal arts education for African Americans.

Three research questions addressed the issues surrounding the ideology of African Americans' education: (1) What role did hegemony and ideology play in African American education and how did they influence Booker T. Washington's and W. E. B. Dubois's position on how African Americans should be educated; (2) What was the Black ideology of African American education; and (3) What was the White ideology of African American education?

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