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Political EducationBlack Politics and Education Reform in Chicago since the 1960s$
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Elizabeth Todd-Breland

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469646589

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646589.001.0001

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Building Independent Black Institutions

Building Independent Black Institutions

(p.81) 3 Building Independent Black Institutions
Political Education

Elizabeth Todd-Breland

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the creation of independent Black educational institutions as another articulation and enactment of a Black self-determinist politics of Black achievement. This chapter specifically focuses on the Institute of Positive Education (IPE), an independent Black institution influenced by the Black Power and Black Arts movements. Like many community control advocates, these Black education reformers were not interested in pursuing integration. The architects of IPE–-including Soyini Walton, Carol Lee, and Haki Madhubuti—rejected the state’s ability to provide an adequate education for Black students. Instead, they circumvented the public school system and the financial support of the state by creating an independent school—the New Concept Development Center—with an African-centered curriculum and programming based in a Black community. By bypassing the state-run education system, the educators and operators of independent Black institutions worked within a set of political possibilities and constraints different from those of organizations that sought engagement with the state. Concerns about IPE’s scale and financial viability foreshadow the organization’s move to open charter schools.

Keywords:   Self-determination, Black Power, Black Nationalism, Black Arts Movement, Institute of Positive Education, New Concept Development Center, Independent Black Institutions, Black achievement, African-centered, charter schools

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