This study examines the ways in which black Richmonders, black Mobilians and their white allies created, developed and sustained a system of African American schools following the Civil War. As partners and circumstances changed over the twenty-five year period, Green argues that urban African Americans never lost sight of their vision of citizenship in their struggle for educational access and legitimacy; and consequently, they successfully enshrined the African American schoolhouse as the fundamental vehicle for distancing themselves from their slave past. The African American schoolhouse embodied black Richmonders’ and black Mobilians’ participation in the redefinition of American citizenship and transformation of the physical landscape wrought by Confederate defeat. Green contends that the end of Freedmen’s Bureau resulted in the expansion and not contraction of African American education. By demanding quality public schools from their new city and state partners, black Richmonders and black Mobilians found additional success through the employment of African American teachers, creation of normal schools, and development of a robust curriculum. Ultimately, Green concludes that their collective inability to resolve school funding challenges resulted in the demise of Educational Reconstruction and the ushering of a new phase of African American education in 1890.