The Blair Education Bill and the Death of Educational Reconstruction, 1890
This chapter explores the demise of the Educational Reconstruction and the opening of another phase in African American education with the failed Blair Education Bill. This federal funding bill would have overcome the last obstacle in sustaining the public schools for white and African American children. Yet, it did not pass. The meteoric rise of Booker T. Washington and his industrial education model after the defeat represented the real closure of Educational Reconstruction. Its demise and the emergence of new challenges never overshadowed the triumph of the Freedmen’s Schools or state-funded public schools yielded by their educational networks. Continuing to find inspiration in their recent past, the chapter concludes that black Richmonders and black Mobilians responded to these new setbacks as they had previously done. They shifted strategies in order to deal with the new political and racial climate and continued their struggle into the twentieth century.
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