Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

In the hands of their own: The story of the Weeksville School 1840–1893
by Mullarkey, Lara Steensland, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2012, 293; 3545647
Abstract (Summary)

The African American community of Weeksville in central Brooklyn established a school not long after the community was settled in the late 1830s. Unlike many other segregated schools of the era, the Weeksville school was started by African Americans for African Americans. Early on it was referred to as African School No. 2, later Colored School No. 2 and finally Public School No. 68, before being integrated into nearby Public School No. 83 in the early 1890s.

This dissertation considers how and why the Weeksville community established, developed and maintained this segregated setting. Relying heavily on Board of Education records and newspaper articles, as well as secondary sources and manuscript collections, particular attention is given to the impact of economic, social and political shifts on the setting’s development.

The findings of this study challenge many assumptions regarding the nature and quality of segregated schooling in this country, as well as the process of integration. This study adds to the growing research demonstrating the active and political role many African Americans took in the education of their children and the strong connection many African American communities felt to their local segregated setting. The norms and beliefs regarding nineteenth-century, northern, urban schooling are examined, along with a poignant example of how and why these norms were challenged.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schoonmaker, Frances
Commitee: Genishi, Celia, Quinn, Mary, Weneck, Bette
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Curriculum and Teaching
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black history, Education history
Keywords: 19th century, African-American, Brooklyn, Education, New York City, Urban education, Weeksville
Publication Number: 3545647
ISBN: 978-1-267-78307-3
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