ERIC Number: EJ1065311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 55
When Lions Write History: Black History Textbooks, African-American Educators, & the Alternative Black Curriculum in Social Studies Education, 1890-1940
King, LaGarrett J.
Multicultural Education, v22 n1 p2-11 Fall 2014
The African proverb, "Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter," is used to metaphorically describe how dominant groups inscribe power through historical narrative. In this article the author discusses how African-American educators between the years of 1890-1940 conceptualized citizenship education through Black history textbooks. Much of the literature about turn-of-the-20th century social studies textbooks typically described the lack of diversity or racist conceptualization of Blackness; little research has examined the textbooks that responded to these shortcomings. By concentrating on the efforts of African-American educators, this research accentuates multicultural education as an important dynamic in the theoretical development of social studies education. Throughout the article the author does this by seeking to accomplish three goals: (1) to highlight late nineteenth and early twentieth century Black history textbooks written for and by African Americans; (2) to illustrate how social studies and multicultural education occurred simultaneously in an effort to provide African-American students an equitable history curriculum; and (3) to situate early African American educators as salient theoreticians to the social studies field whose interdisciplinary philosophies conflicted with traditional social studies thought, especially the ideology of civic education. This research adds to the developing literature base on how African-American educators contributed to the early theoretical and practical multicultural and social studies movements. It focuses specifically on late nineteenth and early twentieth century African-American educators who developed and distributed Black history textbooks for primary and secondary education. The relevant educators and textbooks include Edward Augustus Johnson's "A School History of the Negro Race in American" (1987), Lelia Amos Pendleton's "A Narrative of Negro" (1912), Carter G. Woodson's "The Negro in Our History" (1922), and Meryl Eppse's "The Negro, Too, In American History" (1937).
Descriptors: Social Studies, Educational History, Textbooks, African American Teachers, Multicultural Education, African American Students, Curriculum, African American History, Content Analysis, Power Structure, Proverbs, Citizenship Education, Educational Philosophy, Interdisciplinary Approach, Elementary Secondary Education, Aesthetics, Citizen Participation, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A