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Reparation and ReconciliationThe Rise and Fall of Integrated Higher Education$
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Christi M. Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630687

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630687.001.0001

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Inside Interracial Colleges, 1837–1880

Inside Interracial Colleges, 1837–1880

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter Three Inside Interracial Colleges, 1837–1880
Source:
Reparation and Reconciliation
Author(s):

Christi M. Smith

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630687.003.0003

This chapter provides a local analysis of lived experiences on three integrated college campuses – Berea (KY), Howard (DC) and Oberlin (OH). Selected from among thirty colleges open to blacks and whites after 1870, these three were widely endorsed as models for replication by important cultural, political, and media figures. Diaries and personal letters from college presidents, students, and others reveal the intensity with which campus-level actors were attached to the ideal of integration. Administrative reports, budgets, fundraising materials and detailed minutes from Board of Trustee meetings illustrate decision-making processes and practices in structuring racial contact on campus. Fundraising materials, including speeches, pamphlets and letters to donors show how the colleges depicted their mission to potential students, donors, and policymakers; an independently-constructed data set of over four hundred newspaper articles shows how these colleges were portrayed to readers across the United States. Berea, Howard, and Oberlin differed in racial composition, recruitment strategies, and black representation on faculty and administration. Despite variation on key factors thought to predict inter-racial cooperation, on-campus dynamics were insufficient to resist segregationist pressures from beyond the campus gates.

Keywords:   Berea College, Howard University, Oberlin College, segregation, interracial colleges, coeducation

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