No Sacrifice Too Great: The History of African American Education from Slavery to Twenty#FirstCentury

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9780807000281: No Sacrifice Too Great: The History of African American Education from Slavery to Twenty#FirstCentury

The story of African Americans' struggle for education, and why it matters

When historian James Anderson began studying the education of African Americans after the Civil War, he uncovered an astounding history. Few today know what African Americans did—and what they sacrificed—to demand, create, and nourish educational institutions for themselves and their families through the twentieth century. Slaves literally risked their lives to learn to read; African American legislators during Reconstruction passed the first laws guaranteeing public schools in America; and poor Blacks pooled their life's savings to build thousands of schools—African Americans demonstrated over and over, in the face of huge obstacles, a wide cultural commitment to education.

In this book, Anderson brings this vivid history and more to Americans at a time when unequal educational outcomes are popularly blamed on African American culture not valuing education. Anderson argues that the history proves this criticism utterly wrong and shows us what we should make of that history.

He also shows how to overturn other common assumptions in the current debates—from the intractability of the achievement gap to the idea that the Constitution prohibits taking race into account in school assignment policies to the notion that desegregation removed the major remaining obstacles to education for African Americans.

Filled with stories, framed around provocative questions, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in race and education in America.

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About the Author:

James D. Anderson is professor of history and educational policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of the award-winning The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935.

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