Education During Slavery

What efforts were made to educate Africans in America in the 1700s?

Since the first arrival of Africans in America, the African-American community has worked to sustain a system for educating its youth. White individuals and groups have worked to educate blacks as well. From the late 1600s to the mid-1700s, instruction of the newly arrived Africans was sporadic and haphazard. Pennsylvania Quakers, who opposed the institution of slavery, organized monthly educational meetings for blacks during the early 1700s. One such Quaker, Anthony Benezet, in 1750 established an evening school in his home, which remained successful until 1760. In 1774 Quakers in Philadelphia joined together to open a school for blacks. In 1751 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent Joseph Ottolenghi to convert and educate blacks in Georgia. By the mid 1830s, however, states passed stringent laws to prohibit whites from teaching blacks; nevertheless, some efforts to educate blacks continued.


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