The Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) awarded me a travel grant to do research at the RAC from June 23-30, 2010. I am working on a monograph which examines the experience and evolving meaning of education in one rural Georgia county (Hancock) from Reconstruction until the Brown decision of 1954. This new study builds on my earlier publication, The Rural Face of White Supremacy, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005, which was an examination of the daily experience of race relations in this plantation-belt county during the Jim Crow Era. The current research project will trace the contours of the debates over the meaning of education in the county, including black and white perspectives about what kind of education was best suited for the needs of whom. It also examines changes in the availability of education: the funding of teachers, the condition of schoolhouses, the length of terms, etc. Primarily, I want to know how ordinary black and white farmers of all classes understood the purpose of education during these decades. I want to understand how each generation within this period put their educations to use.
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