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“No Unfavorable Comments from Any Quarter”: Teaching Black History to White Students in the American South, 1928–1943

by Christine Woyshner - 2012

Background/Context: The history curriculum is often used to help reach the goal of racial tolerance and understanding by teaching about the nation’s diversity. Many educators believe that teaching about diverse peoples in schools will bring about greater equity in society. This historical study looks at the segregated American South from 1928 to 1943 and an effort by a mixed-race voluntary organization to teach Black history in White schools.

Focus of Study: This study examines the efforts of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), beginning in 1928, to promote the teaching of Black history in southern segregated schools in an effort to bring about greater racial tolerance and awareness. The CIC circulated a booklet, which was a short history of African Americans titled “America’s Tenth Man,” and invited schools to submit essays on Black history for cash prizes. The contests ran from 1928 until 1943, when the CIC was renamed the Southern Regional Council, which reflected a change in the organization’s emphasis on regional planning.

Research Design: This is a historical examination of teaching Black history in segregated schools. The author relies on primary sources—including teachers’ reports, correspondence, and students’ projects—and secondary studies in the history of education and the curriculum.

Conclusions: By challenging historians’ views of the CIC—that the organization was largely ineffectual and that its Tenth Man contests did not result in any measureable improvement in race relations in the South—the author raises questions about the implementation of Black history curricula in order to influence students’ behavior and attitudes about race. Likewise, the author shows how White teachers were outspoken activists for Black history in schools. The study concludes that the teaching of Black history to White students was not uniform and was ideologically diverse.

In 1931, at the all-White Autauga County High School in Prattville, Alabama, students in Flora Hatcher’s English class were busy working on a special project intended to broaden their thinking about race. One student reported, “I’ve never been so interested in any one thing as I am in the negro. It is just this year that I’ve thought at all about negroes.”1 This comment reflects an under-researched phenomenon in the Jim Crow South, that White high school students in some districts were studying Black history, visiting segregated schools, and writing on various aspects of Black culture. The curricular shift happened in hundreds of southern schools because of the efforts of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) to fight lynching, promote Black history, and improve race relations. Once the CIC’s leaders decided to work toward racial understanding through the schools in the aftermath of World War I, its education director, Robert Eleazer, wrote a pamphlet titled “America’s Tenth Man: A Brief Survey of the Negro’s Part in American History,” which was an overview of great African Americans in U.S. history. Eleazer circulated the pamphlet to southern schools with the announcement that a $50 prize would be awarded to the best essay on Black history submitted by a student. In 1932 teachers ordered 50,000 copies. By 1943, 230,000 copies of “America’s Tenth Man” had been sent to southern White schools.2

Segregated White schools numbering in the hundreds took on Tenth Man projects that extended beyond the curriculum and were presented in community settings and civic clubs. Teachers prepared lessons and project ideas, and students read Black poetry, sang spirituals, examined African American newspapers and magazines, and provided books and equipment to Black schools. Many schools submitted students’ essays to the contests, far more than were awarded the handful of $50 cash prizes annually. In 1933, CIC Director Will W. Alexander claimed, “The project . . . has received wide and enthusiastic endorsement at the hands of teachers who have tried it. There have been no unfavorable comments from any quarter.3 Clearly, from the CIC’s perspective, the Tenth Man project was a rousing success. However, historians have viewed the educational efforts of the CIC in a different light.

The political nature of curricula and teaching history in the South are explored in Jonathan Zimmerman’s Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools. Zimmerman notes that whereas southern Black classrooms emphasized teaching Black history, White schools embraced a rigid, distinctly pro-southern (read pro-White and pro-segregation) history curriculum. Indeed, in the history of education scholarship, Black history is commonly understood to have been taught exclusively in the Black segregated schools of the South. However, more recent works have investigated an increasingly complex picture of teaching Black history in White schools in the South during the early twentieth century. Diana Selig’s study of the cultural gifts movement reveals that due to the efforts of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, Black history reached many White southern high schools after the program’s inception in 1928.4

Historians generally agree on the beginnings of the Black history movement in the early twentieth century, which began around the time Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in 1915. Woodson was a formidable figure in the effort to promote Black culture and history. He was a prolific writer and well-networked in philanthropic circles as well as civic organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Urban League, and Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. In the early twentieth century, Black history scholarship was beginning to blossom, led primarily by Woodson’s efforts to preserve African Americans’ past through rigorous scholarship, materials for teachers and schools, and public awareness. Woodson and the ASNLH endorsed the teaching of Black history to both White and Black audiences. The CIC’s Tenth Man contests were a small part of this endeavor, begging the question of what White students learned and how they learned it. This article seeks to investigate some of the answers to those questions.5

Historian David Chappell claims the CIC’s efforts at racial dissent were limited and that the organization’s sentiments were too timid.6 His interpretation overlooks the CIC’s impact on teachers, students, and community members through its promotion of a Black history curriculum. In other words, a look inside schools can give a fuller picture of the role of White teachers in racial dissent. Likewise, in the scant scholarship on the CIC’s Tenth Man contests, historians have tended to overlook the impact of the new curriculum by taking a macro-analytical view. That is, they ask whether the teaching of Black history was effective with White audiences and conclude that the Tenth Man contests most assuredly did not result in a whole-scale revolution in race relations in the South. In Growing up Jim Crow, Jennifer Ritterhouse claims the Tenth Man projects were “a limited success at best.”7 Adam Fairclough presents a less sanguine assessment and argues that the CIC was an ineffective organization that had “advanced the Negro’s cause scarcely a jot.”8 Such conclusions led me to wonder whether historians—like researchers studying contemporary education—have placed too much emphasis on the ability of the formal curriculum to shape and change behavior and attitudes. Surely, centuries-long racism and violence towards African Americans could not be overturned by a 32-page booklet and a cadre of well-meaning White teachers and students. I contend that a more subtle understanding of the meaning of Tenth Man contests and projects within schools and communities is warranted. The initiative also should be viewed for what it was, an attempt by White activist teachers at changing attitudes and behaviors, with the changes most assuredly happening slowly and unevenly, and in many cases, with the perpetuation of racial stereotypes residing amid attempts to bring about awareness and equality.9

In what follows, I explore how Black history was construed and taught through the CIC’s Tenth Man project. How did the Tenth Man project impact teachers, students, and communities? How did participants—teachers and students—interpret the goals of the Black history curriculum? I argue that the undertaking, although ideologically unified in its conception, was implemented by teachers, students, and community members in diverse ways. In fact, the effort ended up working toward such diffuse ends that it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw any certain conclusions. Moreover, the Tenth Man project expands on the notion of curriculum writing and implementation as a civic endeavor, not just one left to education professionals.10 The initiative included the members of the CIC as well as other school patrons who embraced the Tenth Man project and its goals while oscillating between racial appreciation and prejudiced condescension. Ultimately, the question of whether the contests were effective needs to find a parallel argument in the teaching of Black history in Black schools. If, as Adam Fairclough argues, the “Negro history movement provided a safe vehicle for conveying lessons about oppression, resistance, and Black identity [to Black students],” then wouldn’t teaching Black history to Whites have some effect, even if minimal?11 A close examination of the Tenth Man contests reveals a complex portrait of attempts at racial understanding mixed with the pitfalls of racial stereotyping.


Public schools for Blacks and Whites in the South were established during the first three decades of the twentieth century, and they remained segregated and unequal. James D. Anderson discusses the rise of public high schools and reveals the growth in attendance at the turn of the twentieth century. From 1890 to 1910, the percentage of Black 15- to 19-year-olds attending high school increased from 0.39 percent to 2.8 percent. Whites’ attendance increased from 4.0 percent to 10.1 percent during the same period. By 1935, southern White secondary school enrollment approximated parity with national enrollment, and in urban areas many Black adolescents increasingly attended high schools. In other words, in the mid-1930s, 50 percent of Whites ages 14 to 17 were in high school and 20 percent of Black youth in the same age group attended high school.12 In rural areas in 1933, Black students attended county training schools, which were the “sole source of public secondary education” for them.13 For example, in 1933, 66 percent of all rural southern black high school students were enrolled in county training schools. County training schools were funded by northern philanthropists who wished to promote industrial education for rural African Americans. Although many of these schools taught liberal arts courses, and in particular Black history, by 1935 they were phased out and turned into public high schools.14 In practically every case, White schools had better equipment, textbooks, and facilities, and Black schools were underfunded and had to rely on community donations and hand-me-downs from White schools.

This same time period saw significant change nationally in the school curriculum. In particular, by the 1920s a momentous shift had occurred in schools’ approach to social education. As Herbert Kliebard explains, educators and policymakers not only implemented a transition from a classical, liberal arts emphasis to a more functional curriculum, bur also introduced the new field of social studies, which blended traditional historical study with new fields such as sociology, economics, and anthropology. Contrary to education researchers’ debates as to whether history supplanted social studies or vice versa in the early twentieth century, both co-existed in classrooms, at least in these early years.15 For instance, one of the first secondary social studies courses to be developed in the 1910s was called Problems of Democracy. Instead of replacing the study of history in secondary schools, it was added to the curriculum, and was taught alongside the traditional courses in European and American history.

Regional differences reflected different emphases in teaching history and social studies. By the late 1920s in southern White schools, history was subsumed under social science departments and teachers who—as will be evidenced in the following discussion—integrated the methods and content from the various social studies subjects to instruct students on culture, the past, and society. Similar changes occurred in segregated schools, with one significant difference—Black history was taught regularly to challenge racial stereotypes and feelings of inferiority. Perhaps most curious given the pervasive racial tension found in the South, teaching Black history in all-White schools predated similar efforts in intercultural education and teaching race in the North, West, and Midwest. The initiative to teach about race beyond the South was largely catalyzed by World War II, because educators, policymakers, and anthropologists viewed teaching about racial tolerance as a significant part of the war effort, to unite the American citizenry and to counter Nazi propaganda.16

One wonders how Black history entered segregated southern schools nearly 10 years prior to the extensive intercultural education programs in the North during World War II. The introduction in the late 1920s of the CIC’s Black history curriculum was the result of decades of efforts by southern liberals to influence their communities’ thinking about race. Martin Sosna classifies southern liberals as Whites who at the turn of the twentieth century began to sympathize with the plight of African Americans. Southern White liberals believed race relations were significantly maladjusted in the South, and they recognized that segregation was a “grave injustice,” although they chose not to challenge it. Instead, they worked to support or engage in programs to help southern Blacks fight lynching, disenfranchisement, and discrimination in education and employment. Sosna also cautions that they were a diverse group holding many different ideas about race. Preferring the term “dissenters” to liberals, David Chappell claims that these activists had the most substantial impact on race relations in the South during the Civil Rights movement, because they offered an alternative to extremism.17

In the 1880s and 1890s, southern White dissenters such as Lewis Harvie Blair and George Washington Cable appealed to White southerners’ economic interests by arguing that Black advancement—educational and economic—could only be good for Whites. These and other dissenters, according to Chappell, “had to convince the South that black people had rights and deserved schools,” but their words did not find sympathetic ears.18 In the early twentieth century, White liberals continued to write and speak on rights for Blacks, with little progress until the years just prior to World War I, when a collective effort began to emerge. Organizations such as the University Commission on Southern Race Questions founded in 1912 and the Southern Publicity Committee founded in 1919 “pricked the southern white conscience,” according to Sosna.19 The Commission on Interracial Cooperation was founded in 1919 in the midst of an “unprecedented wave of racial violence”;20 the Ku Klux Klan was enjoying a revival in popularity and there was an upsurge in lynching. Organized by Methodist minister Will W. Alexander, and based in Atlanta, the CIC’s main goal was to address the social, political, and economic problems facing African Americans in the South. Even though historians have described the CIC as paternalistic and accommodationist, its membership nonetheless included high-profile Black educators such as John Hope of Morehouse College and Robert Moton of Tuskegee Institute as members.

Alexander had ties to the racially integrated YMCA and served as the CIC’s first and long-standing director from 1919 to 1935. He echoed the sentiments of earlier White liberals, such as Lewis Harvie Blair, and argued that Blacks’ economic progress was the association’s main goal, because it would benefit everyone.21 In its first decade the CIC became known for its antilynching activism, although its leaders also dedicated a significant measure of its efforts to the “improvement of racial attitudes” soon after the organization’s founding. In 1922, Robert B. Eleazer, Jr., became the CIC’s Director of Education, and he served in this position until at least 1942. The CIC advocated for better funding for Black schools and equal educational opportunities for African Americans. From 1919 to 1944, the CIC received Carnegie Foundation grants totaling more than $2.5 million for work with teachers colleges and school superintendents; it used a small fraction of this money for the Tenth Man contests. The CIC expended a good deal of energy examining college curricula and encouraging the implementation of courses on race and the integration of race and racial theory into courses on sociology, economics, and anthropology. In 1933, Director Will W. Alexander found that more than 100 colleges and universities had done so. In 1944, the CIC was remade into the Southern Regional Council, and with the shift in direction away from race relations toward regional planning the Tenth Man contests were discontinued.22


In 1927, with the Black history movement gaining momentum, Carter G. Woodson was setting in motion his efforts to get resources on Black history in the schools a year after the first Negro History Week was celebrated. He distributed materials through various networks: school districts, historically Black colleges and universities, civic clubs, and the media. In a circular he wrote, “Ask your school authorities to adopt text-books treating Negro Life and History and organize classes and clubs for the serious study of the significant record of the race.”23 In the early years, Negro History Week was characterized by parades, breakfasts, banquets, poetry readings, lectures on Black history, exhibits, and special presentations. At this time, boards of education in Black and White communities had begun to integrate Black history into the curriculum. White teachers and educational administrators wrote to Woodson for advice, and public libraries purchased the ASNLH’s materials on Black history. During this period also, Will W. Alexander met with Woodson to get ideas for promoting Black history in White southern schools when the Tenth Man contests had just begun.24

In 1928, the CIC began to sponsor the Tenth Man contests. Eleazer was convinced that if White students learned the “astonishing record” of Blacks in history, race relations would improve in schools and communities. As the CIC circulated copies of “America’s Tenth Man,” teachers began to integrate the pamphlet and other elements of Black culture and history into the school curriculum. Students read Black poetry, sang spirituals, and examined Black newspapers and magazines.25 Their efforts extended beyond classrooms into local communities. White students visited Black schools to investigate conditions and donate resources and their teachers addressed civic organizations to spread the gospel of the dignity and worthiness of Black Americans.

The schools that participated in the Tenth Man contests reached across at least 20 states, with the project being concentrated in the American South.26 Although only a fraction of students entered the Tenth Man contests, thousands participated in the events and activities. For example, at Cuyler High School in Savannah, Georgia, a thousand English students wrote compositions, of which 13 were sent to the CIC for consideration in the Tenth Man contest. In exchange for submitting reports to the CIC, teachers received complimentary copies of books on Black history or poetry. For example, in 1941, teachers had their choice of Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery or The Book of American Negro Poetry. In 1930 alone, Eleazer received 500 reports on the Tenth Man contests.27

Of course, the Tenth Man booklet was read in history classes, but as the new field of social studies spread in the 1920s, courses such as sociology, economics, and Problems of Democracy were added to the secondary school curriculum around the country. The scholarship in the history of social studies has virtually ignored how the field included inquiries around race and difference in the early twentieth century.28 In the South, these new social studies classes in White schools were perfect places for projects in Black culture and history, and teachers adopted the Tenth Man booklet. The Problems of Democracy course was regularly used to embark on inquiries into Black American life. At Windsor High School in Windsor, Missouri, American history classes studied the Tenth Man booklet for 2 weeks. “Twenty-one pupils in an American Problems class studied this subject as one of our important problems our country has to solve.”29

Sociology students looked at African American life and culture in their communities. In the Second Ward School in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1931, students surveyed their neighborhood by conducting a “house by house canvass” of the racial identity of residents, after which the “charts were turned in and a report was given to the school and to the public” at a community event.30 In Hazelhurst, Georgia, in 1937, a class of seniors in sociology spent 2 weeks investigating the arrest of a Black adolescent who had been charged with petty theft. The students studied his background, education, and treatment under the law. The teacher explained in a report to Eleazer, “By taking this local incident we were led to the results of the Civil War with its aftermath, in which we found a reenslaved Negro. Then with all these handicaps in mind, we investigated his achievements—athletic, cultural, musical, and economic. Although such a study was rather brief and poorly guided, I think my class acquired a more open minded attitude on the subject of race relations.”31

White students’ investigations into the history and culture of African Americans spread beyond the traditional social studies courses of history, sociology, and economics. English, drama, art, and science classes added elements of the Tenth Man project to their existing course assignments. For example, English teachers required students to study Black poets and their poetry. The same efforts were undertaken in Black schools, where students learned about genetics theories in biology lessons, as teachers sought to refute white supremacist beliefs.32

Vocational agriculture and physics classes at Windsor High School in Missouri studied the accomplishments of George Washington Carver. The Commercial Club of the high school read the Tenth Man booklet and paid special attention to “the activities of the negro in the business world.” Over 100 junior high students in the same district created scrapbooks based on the Tenth Man booklet. In home economics, “some time was spent in studying the social conditions that have arisen in our society of our country because of intermingling of the races. Also in the serving of the lunches by this department, recipes from famous Negro cooks were used in many instances.”33 In Kirksville, Missouri, high school students in gym class studied “principles of Negro dancing,” which inspired one student to create her own interpretation called “Mammy’s Dance.”34 This particular example reveals the reification of stereotypes about African Americans through student projects.

A teacher at Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, reported, “The Social Science department was not satisfied with studying the ‘Tenth Man’ alone.” The Art department produced posters and the English department studied the poetry and prose of Black writers. The Glee Club sang Negro spirituals at an assembly of 1,200 community members. On April 12, 1933, members of one economics class took part in a debate and resolved “That the negro race has contributed as much as the German to America’s greatness.” The teacher described a “spirited” discussion in which members of the class judged the outcome.35 Some classes addressed inequality head-on. The Clinton High School civics class club in Clinton, Mississippi, held a forum at which participants considered their own success and prosperity—or took part in a lesson on interdependence—as they addressed the question, “Is the inadequate education of the negro a detriment to the White man?” The question was “unanimously answered in the affirmative.”36

Historians who claim that the emphasis on great individuals in the Tenth Man booklet had the unintended effect of reinforcing prejudice because it emphasized individual achievement over group rights, assume that the publication was the only resource used. However, teachers brought a diverse range of readings to the initiative, not limiting themselves to the Tenth Man booklet or any one particular perspective of Black history and culture. Many teachers supplemented the CIC’s publication with two works that held the potential to reinforce stereotypes or promote an accommodationist view of African Americans’ place in society: Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery and Uncle Remus tales. However, they also read contemporary research in sociology and history by well-known scholars, such as Howard Odum’s Southern Regions of the United States, Robert Moton’s What the Negro Thinks, and Benjamin Brawley’s Short History of the American Negro.37 At DeQueen High School in DeQueen, Arkansas, students read the Beards’ The Rise of American Civilization and Brawley’s Short History of the American Negro, as well as widely used texts by David Muzzey (A History of Our Country) and Harold Rugg (A History of American Civilization and A History of American Government and Culture). Each of these works can be considered progressive in terms of the authors’ views on race and U.S. society. Students in Biloxi, Mississippi, read the aforementioned texts, plus W.E.B. Dubois’ The Negro, and students in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, read The Souls of Black Folk.38 These offerings comprised an ideologically diverse set of classroom resources, both reinforcing subservience—as in the case of Washington’s Up from Slavery—and challenging the status quo, as in the books by Rugg and DuBois.

Supplementing books that teachers selected, it was not uncommon for students to read Black newspapers and other periodicals, such as the NAACP’s Crisis and the Urban League’s Opportunity.39 As one teacher described it, Black publications helped students at DeQueen High School in Arkansas gain a better understanding “between the Whites and the Blacks,” to understand and appreciate the “problems of the negro, to create a bent toward changing things for the better, and to acquire a broader outlook which will remove ignorance and prejudice.”40


Oftentimes, one of the major projects undertaken by students was to donate materials to local Black schools. Whites’ contributions, however, were thin compared to Black communities’ giving to their own local schools.41 For example, in Arcola, Mississippi, students donated some of the materials of the Tenth Man project to the local Black school, and in Windsor, Missouri, students donated poster material and quilt pieces to the local Black school at their request.42 May McCown, a social science teacher in Windsor, reported, “Their teacher is doing a very wonderful work among her people; she teaches sewing and some art work, so that she was greatly delighted with our large box of materials presented to her.”43 Time and again the Tenth Man reports from White teachers show a perspective of Black education that is counter to the robust scholarship on education in segregated schools. In this example, McCown lauds the functional curriculum, although a host of historical studies have demonstrated the leadership of Black teachers and the ways they taught a liberal arts curriculum despite pressures to focus on manual training.44

Even though it was not a typical way to give to Black communities, in a couple of instances, White students were encouraged to help support Black businesses. At the Avery Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1931, students heard lectures on the “Negro in Business,” after which they were encouraged to frequent Black-owned businesses. Philippa Stowe, head of the History Department reported, “To help stimulate interest . . . a ‘Theater Party’ was arranged and a very lovely afternoon was spent at the Negro Theater managed by Negroes. Many students promised to patronize the Negro Theater rather than the White ones.”45

Schools participating in the Tenth Man project sent White students and teachers to visit Black communities, make note of housing conditions, and offer assistance in helping Blacks improve their surroundings. Such patronizing oversight was not unusual in communities across the South.46 In Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1937, in addition to donating Tenth Man booklets, students visited the local Black school and gave suggestions on beautifying the campus. The Home Economics club presented a talk on eugenics and social diseases at the school. White students visited 55 homes over the course of four trips and “inspected the improvements that had been made because of the program in the negro school.”47 The enthusiastic group also involved the Black PTA by encouraging them to sponsor a home improvement and health campaign. The Black school responded by cleaning up classrooms, holding a personal hygiene contest, studying diseases, and encouraging the children to start vegetable gardens at home.48 In Alabama, students traveled to Tuskegee Institute as a culminating event to their study of Black culture and history. Students from Autauga County High School in Prattville made the 70-mile trip to Tuskegee, which the teacher pointed out was entirely voluntary. They heard Tuskegee president Robert Moton speak on racial cooperation, toured the campus, and were treated to lunch.49

A handful of Black schools did participate in the Tenth Man contests, but their implementation of the initiative varied slightly from White schools’ efforts. At Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida, one day a week over the course of the school year was dedicated to Black history. All 54 teachers and 2,000 students participated in the project, and the Black and White citizens of Miami were invited to the performances of the plays written about “Negro life, progress or history.” Instead of relying on the CIC to award prizes, Booker T. Washington High School gave its own prizes for “best musical numbers with Negro themes,” the two best scrapbooks, and best original work in drawing, poetry, clay modeling, and negro humor. Money for the awards, and for the school, was raised by selling copies of the Tenth Man pamphlets. Students approached over three dozen local organizations to purchase copies of the booklet, and all responded enthusiastically.50 Fundraising was by this time a common way for Black schools to raise the funds necessary for school materials and supplies.51


Teachers who chose to implement the Tenth Man curriculum were likely the southern liberals described by Morton Sosna who were predisposed to studying cultural and racial differences in an effort to bridge racial understanding. However, unlike CIC members described by Sosna and Chappell who avoided public scrutiny, the pedagogy and curricula of the White teachers who brought the Tenth Man project to their schools were very much on display for all the community to see. And, like educators engaged in intercultural teaching around the country, they spent time planning in an attempt to head off any apprehension or resistance.52 Therefore, teachers who implemented “America’s Tenth Man” braced themselves for resistance and used careful planning as a means to get around potential backlash. For example, teachers at the Second Ward School in Charlotte, North Carolina, spent 2 weeks studying the Black history materials and developing a curriculum before teaching it.53 A high school student in Litton, Tennessee, wrote an editorial for the school newspaper about the Tenth Man project a week before it began in order to generate interest.54 Flora Y. Hatcher, an English teacher at Autauga County High School, suggested that even the curriculum implementation began slowly, “We tried not to plunge into the project too hastily but carefully laid a foundation and gradually stimulated the interest of our students in the project.”55 Sometimes the trepidation was unwarranted, because White students embraced the new curriculum. One teacher remarked, “The announcement that the club was to take up the study of Negro literature was received with a great deal more enthusiasm than would be expected to be forthcoming considering the prejudice we are supposed to feel down here.”56

In at least one instance, a teacher endeavored to go beyond the Black–White dichotomy endorsed by the Tenth Man project. In an attempt to ease students into the study of Blacks, Ralph W. Stonier, head of the Social Science department in West Blockton, Alabama, reported to Eleazer that “in order to overcome the prejudice so prevalent here in the South, I organized a study of the Red and Yellow Races before approaching the study of the Black Race.” Because materials were limited, Stonier had his students write New Mexico state officials for information on American Indians and received maps, magazines, and pamphlets. His students also wrote to California and received a pamphlet titled, “California and the Oriental.”57

Pauline Dingle Knobbs, of Kirksville, Missouri, was one of the most enthusiastic White teachers to integrate Black culture and history through the Tenth Man contests. Her fervor and dedication are reflected in the fact that her students were frequent winners of the contest (her students won four times in five years in the early 1930s), but also are revealed through her writings on the subject and frequent talks she gave to community organizations. Knobbs was no wallflower when it came to speaking out on race, although Missouri’s position as a border state likely helped support her endeavors. In a report to the CIC, Knobbs wrote, “It is not whether we win or lose but how well we play the game and put over in the hearts and minds of adults and youth the big principles of racial cooperation and harmony.”58

To clarify her position and relate important principles on racial equality, Knobbs wrote essays on race relations and the need for racial equality. One was titled “Trends in Black America,” an overview of the political, economic, and social inequalities for Blacks; the other was “The International Coat of Many Colors,” which connected the concern for world events in the mid-1930s to the plight of African Americans in the United States. Both talks were presented to local civic groups, such as the Kiwanis, Rotary, and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Teachers in other places addressed community and civic groups, although the documentation of Knobbs’s efforts is extensive in the CIC papers.59 Speaking to civic groups was strategic because Knobbs wished to spread the value of positive race relations and racial understanding to organizations that had a reputation for getting involved in curriculum disputes. For instance, during the 1920s the DAR struggled to place White, mainstream history at the center of the curriculum and emphasize the point that racial and ethnically diverse peoples should be taught to assimilate.60 Knobbs’s efforts are reflective of teachers’ attempts to educate the community, which contrasted with the efforts of civic organizations to control the content of history textbooks.61 Knobbs went beyond the great man approach found in the “America’s Tenth Man” booklet and addressed social, economic, and political inequality. To get her audience’s attention she began her talk with the acknowledgment of a lynching that occurred a year prior in nearby Maryville, Missouri. Overall, Knobbs—like other southern White liberals—demurred from offering her opinion of how to resolve the problem; she merely posed racial inequality as a question, or problem, to be considered.

In her speeches Knobbs addressed the end of slavery and the plight of the freed people in obtaining full citizenship and economic self-sufficiency. She covered a wide range of social, economic, and political issues such as sharecropping, low wages, sanitary conditions in Black communities, and Black migration. Knobbs was well read on the current sociological literature; she cited Tuskegee sociologist Monroe Work on Black migration, an Urban League study on Black businesses, and an NAACP study on school expenditures. Balancing the challenges of promoting racial equality with the realities of segregation, Knobbs sometimes posed questions instead of answering them. In “Trends in Black America” she asked, “What is the sane basis on which racial adjustments can be worked out? What is the conservative proper attitude for a thinking openminded [sic] conscientious American citizen to assume?”62 In “The International Coat of Many Colors,” Knobbs used a biblical reference to declare, “The world must cast aside its age old prejudices against color.”63 The tensions of race relations, especially among White, southern dissenters, are reflected in these timid, yet earnest thoughts. Speaking for an entire race, Knobbs reassured her audiences that Blacks did not seek full equality or what she called “racial intermixture,” but that they wanted only a “chance for racial self-determination.”64

In addition to the goal of teaching Black history and culture to students in an effort to cultivate respect, Knobbs explained that another objective of the Tenth Man project at Kirksville High School was, “Through community surveys and group contacts . . . to bring about a realization of the needs of the minority group and establish local cooperation for their relief.”65 In meeting this goal, Kirksville High School seniors contacted local churches and civic groups in order to survey the conditions of Blacks’ economic, social, political, and recreational lives. The students then published their findings in the local papers. Bound copies of the surveys were presented to the municipal library as well as the school libraries in Kirksville. Additional copies were sent to the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce, the Sojourner Club, and the local branch of the American Association for University Women.66 Although southern White liberals rarely attempted to change segregation rules, Pauline Knobbs took on at least one of those battles. In one of her reports she announced, “We have been working for the removal of the ban against the participation of Negroes in the Tri-State Athletic Conference and it appears that our efforts will be successful.”67

One of the more powerful lessons that Knobbs’s students learned came as a result of their visits to the local Black school. After their visits, students had to write about their impressions, which reflected their stereotypes about Black education and behavior. As Jennifer Ritterhouse explains, during adolescence Whites became more racially isolated while Blacks were exposed to racism with greater frequency.68 Therefore, White high school students visiting Black high schools were exposed to a population with whom they did not have regular contact. The experience may very well have reinforced negative stereotypes of African Americans, as evidenced in the students’ and teachers’ reflections. For example, one student observed the substandard conditions of the separate school, with its worn textbooks and dirty American flag. Another Kirksville student focused on the skin color of the students: “Although none of them were shinny [sic] Black and might have [been] part White, I classified four as Negro and seven as mulattoes.” Focusing on the pedagogy, conditions, and student population, a Kirksville senior reported, “The recitations were carried on much in the same way as rural schools are. . . . The building has a very good lighting system, furnace heat, and electric lights. . . . They wore bright gaudy colors and a lot of cheap jewelry.” One visitor was surprised to learn that her counterparts studied the same curriculum from the same books; it is a curious remark because the books were probably hand-me-downs from the White schools.69

Knobbs herself reflected on what she learned from the experience, that it had begun to shape her pedagogy: “’Twas most interesting to me as a White social science teacher to observe and listen to the negroes recite on their racial achievements and desires and the White peoples’ attitudes. It certainly gave me some valuable lead as to the approaches to use in presentation of the problem to my White classes.”70 In this quote we have a rare glimpse into the thinking of a teacher on teaching race in the early twentieth century. With this admission, Knobbs reveals her willingness to learn from Black students and teachers and her thoughts on how the experience shaped the lessons she taught her students.

Teachers and administrators who valued the Tenth Man curriculum asserted its relevance and success among White students and in White communities. Pauline Knobbs heralded the program’s achievements by citing an “attitudinal test” administered to the students on which 89 percent of students “showed definite improvement in attitude,” although none of these tests were submitted to the CIC and improvement in attitude is not operationalized in the report.71 She was as sanguine as other teachers who implemented the Tenth Man project in their schools. A teacher in Little Rock was convinced that there was so little resistance to a planned housing project for African Americans in 1941 because her students took part in a unit on race relations as part of the Tenth Man initiative. She believed that the “students convinced their parents of the urgent need for such a project.”72

Teachers in other locales reported to the CIC about what students learned and the impact they believed the project had on race relations and students’ understandings. Flora Hatcher, the English teacher at Autauga High School in Alabama, remarked, “We feel our project has either directly or indirectly touched every student in our school. We feel that our whole community has benefited by it.”73 Mrs. Miles L. Hines in Iowa Park, Texas, wrote, “A marked change in attitude on the part of the pupils has been noted.”74 These anecdotal accounts stand as testimony to the successes observed by teachers. However, Jennifer Ritterhouse argues that, “If the CIC’s ‘Tenth Man’ program worked, then a rising generation of white Biloxi residents ought to have been more willing than ever to address blacks’ educational needs.”75 As this study of the Tenth Man initiative shows, the outcomes were mixed and often ended up reinforcing racial stereotypes. The teachers in Biloxi help us understand a drawback to the Tenth Man project, that no matter how much the students and teachers learned they continued to support an education espousing subservience of African Americans. As one teacher reported, “I believe the attitude of these students toward the negro, his achievements, and particularly his needs from an educational standpoint, is greatly improved and will spread from the school into the city. I hope so, as there is a most urgent need now for a new Negro school equipped to take care of twice the present number of students, giving them a more industrial education.”76


The CIC’s efforts with the Tenth Man project ceased in the early 1940s after Robert Eleazer left the position as education director and the organization was renamed the Southern Regional Council. At the same time, the school curriculum in social studies experienced a general shift away from a progressive bent to a more patriotic emphasis on rallying a nation during wartime. The numerous teachers’ testimonials in the Tenth Man reports attest to the positive impact of the initiative. Even though they are words of praise from the converted, they bring a distinctive voice to the cacophony of opposition so very well known by now in the historical scholarship on school segregation and civil rights efforts. The Tenth Man contests remain an anomaly in history; the endeavor was a worthwhile one, yet it had significant drawbacks. Earnest white women teachers studied Black history and culture in order to teach their students to see beyond color and begin to change the future. Amid the exoticization of the African migrant and half-baked ideas about Blacks’ inability to maintain a stable family life because of racial characteristics, resided an earnest, if not misguided, effort to increase awareness about the plight of African Americans in this country and to begin to build a more equitable society. What would the lives of these teachers and students have been like without the Tenth Man curriculum, with a curriculum lacking in any diversity? Change needs to be measured in small ways in some cases, when it comes to the school curriculum. Some students and teachers began to see the “other” differently and some communities were changed in minute ways.

We know the rest of the history of the twentieth century and the fight for educational equality after the Brown decision in 1954, more than 10 years after the Tenth Man project concluded. Schools remained segregated and racism continued to rear its repulsive visage. One wonders how many of the White high school students who took part in the Tenth Man contests of the 1930s became civil-rights workers in the 1950s and 1960s. Judging the complex and mixed understanding of race and African Americans that emerges in this history, some of them very well may have joined the Ku Klux Klan. As observers of the past, we are left wondering whether the curriculum has the power to shape understanding that extends beyond the school walls into public life and over time. Nonetheless, we must recognize the teachers as part of Chappell’s group of dissenters, who sought to change the status quo of race relations in the South. However, unlike the closet dissenters described by him, teachers engaged in the Tenth Man initiative took on a public role in challenging inequality and discrimination. At the very least, they themselves were changed. Pauline Dingle Knobbs let her pedagogy be shaped by her readings of Black history and culture, as well as her visits to Black communities and schools. White teachers engaged in the Tenth Man project considered their role and influence on their students and viewed it as part of a wider responsibility to help change society.

Ultimately, there were “no unfavorable comments from any quarter,” because the very subjects being studied were not integrally involved in the endeavor. African Americans were viewed as specimens worthy of study, not partners in the educational process. Because of this, the Tenth Man project exists as a tangent to the Black history movement, a parallel universe in which White educators controlled the curriculum and the pedagogy. What sense, then, can be made of this initiative? I believe the Tenth Man undertaking raises broader questions about the past and contemporary education regarding the hopes placed in formal curricula to shape attitudes and behaviors about injustice, race, and inequality. It would be facile to argue either for or against such a curriculum because schools and society are much more complex than can be captured in a course of study. The best we can do is learn from the past efforts of educators and civic activists in the early twentieth century who worked to change the status quo through the schools.


The writing of this article was supported by research grants and a Summer Research Award from Temple University. The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.


1. Quoted in Flora Y. Hatcher to Eleazer, March 31, 1931. Commission on Interracial Cooperation Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, Archives Research Center, Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center. Hereafter referred to as AUC.

2. Diana Selig, Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 163-4, 180, and Robert B. Eleazer, America’s Tenth Man: A Brief Survey of the Negro’s Part in American History (Atlanta, GA: Commission on Interracial Cooperation, 1928). The booklet was reprinted as late as 1947.

3. Will W. Alexander, “Southern White Schools Study Race Questions,” Journal of Negro Education 2, no. 2 (1933), 141; emphasis in the original. See also, Wilma Dykeman and James Stokely, Seeds of Southern Change: The Life of Will Alexander (New York: Norton Books, 1976).

4. Jonathan Zimmerman, Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 34, and Selig, Americans All, 162-7. My research has turned up schools in the North and West using the Tenth Man materials, but they were small in number. This article, therefore, focuses on the initiative in the de jure segregated schools of the American South.

5. Adam Fairclough, A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), 321, and Jacqueline Goggin, Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993), xiv, 85. Numerous articles in the Journal of Negro History detail the movement to teach Black history. See, for example, Thomas L. Dabney, “The Study of the Negro,” Journal of Negro History 19, no. 3 (1934): 266-307. See also Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, “Making Black History Practical and Popular: Carter G. Woodson, the Proto Black Studies Movement and the Struggle for Black Liberation,” Western Journal of Black Studies 28, no. 2 (2004): 372-83; Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, “Black Women, Carter G. Woodson, and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History,” Journal of African American History 88, no. 1 (2003): 21-41; and Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, The Early Black History Movement, Carter G. Woodson, and Lorenzo Johnston Greene (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007).

6. David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), 36. See also Morton Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 22.

7. Jennifer Ritterhouse, Growing Up Jim Crow: How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 214-5. See also Selig, Americans All, 162-4.

8. Fairclough, A Class of Their Own, 240.

9. Contemporaries of the project, such as Horace Mann Bond, were also skeptical. See Selig, Americans All, 180. Selig argues that “some school leaders used the CIC materials to reinforce White supremacy,” (pp. 172-3), although intentionality is difficult to pin down. Contemporary examples of culturally relevant pedagogy are too numerous to list here, but they include Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994); Geneva Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice (New York: Teachers College Press, 2000); and Molefi K. Asante, Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change (Buffalo, NY: Amulefi, 1980).

10. Previous works have addressed this notion, although it remains an underexplored area in the history of education scholarship. See, for example, Zimmerman, Whose America; Jonathan Zimmerman, “Storm over the Schoolhouse: Exploring Popular Influences upon the American Curriculum, 1890-1941,” Teachers College Record 100, no. 3 (1999): 602-26; Christine Woyshner, “Preparation for the Duties of Life: Women Reformers and the Functional Curriculum, 1893-1918,” Educational Foundations 18, nos. 3-4 (2004): 25-44; and Bessie Louise Pierce, Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in the United States (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926).

11. Fairclough, A Class of Their Own, 389. The emphasis on student understanding is discussed by Joseph Moreau in Schoolbook Nation: Conflicts over American History Textbooks from the Civil War to the Present (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003). Moreau writes, “only when we combine research into curriculum development with examination of how subject matter is actually assimilated and remembered will we gain a more complete picture of the historical consciousness of Americans, past and present” (p. 23).

12. James D. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 148, 189, 190, 191, 196. See also Jennifer Ritterhouse, Growing up Jim Crow, 183.

13. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 145.

14. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 145-7. For an in-depth study of one county training school, see Vanessa Siddle Walker, Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996). On the curriculum in segregated schools, see for example, Fairclough, A Class of Their Own, 181-2, 301-3.

15. Herbert M. Kliebard, The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958 (Boston: Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1986) and Christine Woyshner, “Notes Toward a Historiography of the Social Studies: Recent Scholarship and Future Directions,” in Research Methods in Social Studies Education: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives, ed. Keith Barton (Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, 2006).

16. Fairclough, A Class of Their Own, 338, and Zoë Burkholder, “From ‘Wops and Dagoes and Hunkies’ to ‘Caucasian’: Changing Racial Discourse in American Classrooms During World War II,” History of Education Quarterly 50, no. 3 (2010): 328, 334. It is important to note that efforts in the North, West, and Midwest focused on ethnic differences among Europeans whereas the South emphasized relations between Blacks and Whites. On intercultural education or teaching race primarily in the North, see Selig, Americans All; Nicholas V. Montalto, A History of the Intercultural Educational Movement, 1924-1941 (New York: Garland, 1982); Rachel Davis DuBois, All This and Something More: Pioneering in Intercultural Education (Bryn Mawr, PA: Dorrance, 1984); Leah N. Gordon, “The Individual and ‘The General Situation’: The Tension Barometer and the Race Problem at the University of Chicago, 1947-1954,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 46, no. 1 (2010): 27-51; and Zoë Burkholder, Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900-1954 (New York: Oxford University Press, in press).

17. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South, viii-ix, and Chappell, Inside Agitators, 3. See also Harry S. Ashmore, “Racial Integration with Special Reference to Education in the South,” Journal of Negro Education 21, no. 3 (1952): 250-5, and David L. Chappell, “Diversity within a Racial Group: White People in Little Rock, 1957-1959,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 54, no. 4 (1995): 444-56, for further distinctions among White dissenters during the civil rights era.

18. Chappell, Inside Agitators, 11. Southern liberals of the turn of the twentieth century are discussed in detail by Chappell and Sosna, In Search of the Silent South, 1-60. Lewis Harvie Blair was a Richmond businessman and free-trade advocate who argued for Blacks’ rights and equality. He wrote The Prosperity of the South Dependent upon the Elevation of the Negro in 1889. George Washington Cable worked as an accountant and newspaper reporter in New Orleans after a stint in the confederate army during the Civil War. Cable wrote The Silent South in 1885.

19. Chappell, Inside Agitators, 34.

20. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South, 22.

21. Chappell, Inside Agitators, 36. Chappell explains that, even though the CIC was part of a movement to organize racial dissent after World War I, Alexander was very much like his predecessors; he repeated the New South ideology of economic progress, but retreated when asked about integration (see p. 36).

22. Selig, Americans All, 154-6, 159, 163-4, 180. Historian David Chappell argues that, “The only thing the CIC did challenge was lynching,” and he calls CIC members “closet dissenters.” See Inside Agitators, 36-7. I hope that this study of the activism of White teachers challenges his presumption about the ineffectiveness of the CIC in the public arena.

23. Carter G. Woodson to John Hope, Dec. 6, 1927, Negro History Week Circular, Reel 11, John and Lugenia Burns Hope Papers, AUC.

24. Goggin, Carter G. Woodson, 85, 118, and Will W. Alexander to John Hope, Jan. 18, 1929, John and Lugenia Hope Burns Papers, Reel 11, AUC.

25. Selig, Americans All, as quoted on 163, 164.

26. Selig’s estimate of the number of states involved in the Tenth Man contests is conservative. Instead of 13, I counted at least 23 states with participating schools. However, she may have been counting only the southern states that promoted the contests. Some states outside of the South had only one school participating. See, for example, San Diego, CA; Carthage, IL; Dracut, MA; St. Paul, MN; and Dayton, OH, in “States Represented in America’s Tenth Man Contest,” n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

27. Miss B.H. Stiles, Department of History, Cuyler High School, Savannah, Georgia, Report on “America’s Tenth Man,” March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC; R.B. Eleazer to Mrs. J.S. Kirton, April 14, 1941 and Prof. W.T. Porter to R.B. Eleazer, April 10, 1941, in Commission on Interracial Cooperation Papers, Series VI, Reel 33, AUC; and Selig, Americans All, 163.

28. Instead, the social studies historiography has focused on great leaders and committees, the Progressive-era origins of the field, and conflicts between history advocates and educators. See Woyshner, “Notes toward a Historiography of the Social Studies,” 12-3 and Burkholder, “Changing Racial Discourse,” 326.

29. Miss May McCown to R.B. Eleazer, March 14, 1932, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC. See also Kirksville Tenth Man Report, Kirksville, Missouri, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

30.W.H. Stinson to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

31. G.D. Wilson to R.B. Eleazer, April 27, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

32. Philippa W. Stowe and Jennie L. Douglass to R.B. Eleazer, March 28, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC, and Fairclough, A Class of Their Own, 338.

33. Miss May McCown to R.B. Eleazer, March 14, 1932, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

34. A “Tenth Man” Project, Kirksville Senior High School, Kirksville, MO, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

35. George L. Blackwell to Commission on Interracial Cooperation, April 13, 1933, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

36. Race Relation Unit, Clinton High School, Clinton, Mississippi, n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

37. Selig, Americans All, 174-5. Nonetheless, the emphasis on teaching Blacks’ “singular experience of slaves” and later highlighting their “special accomplishments” tended to be the approach used in teaching Black history in the Tenth Man contests and after World War II in the North. See Burkholder, “Changing Racial Discourse,” 351. R.B. Eleazer to Miss Anna Appleby, April 13, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

38. Tenth Man Project Report, Biloxi High School, Biloxi, Mississippi, 1937, and Theodore R. Lee to R.B. Eleazer, March 24, 1941, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

39. Miss Maud M. Worral to R.B. Eleazer, April 29, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

40. C.L. Morris to R.B. Eleazer, April 28, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

41. See, for example, Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South; Walker, Their Highest Potential; and Christine Woyshner, The National PTA, Race, and Civic Engagement, 1897-1970 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2009).

42. C.L. Morris to R.B. Eleazer, April 28, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC. See also Rosa Blakely Parker, Report of Central High School, Charlotte, NC, March 30, 1931.

43. Miss May McCown to R.B. Eleazer, March 14, 1932, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

44. See, for example, Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South; Walker, Their Highest Potential; Fairclough, A Class of Their Own; Mary Hoffschwelle, The Rosenwald Schools of the American South (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006); and Ronald E. Butchart, Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1861-1876 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

45. Philippa W. Stowe and Jennie L. Douglas to R.B. Eleazer, March 28, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

46. For example, see James L. Leloudis, “School Reform in the New South: The Woman’s Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina, 1902-1919.” Journal of American History 69, no. 4 (1983): 886-909.

47. Tenth Man Project Report, Biloxi High School, Biloxi, MS, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

48. Tenth Man Project Report, Biloxi High School, Biloxi, MS, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC. On the beautification efforts of Black parent–teacher organizations, see Woyshner, The National PTA, Race, and Civic Engagement, 70-6. Also, on gardens at school, see Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, “’A Better Crop of Boys and Girls’: The School Gardening Movement,” History of Education Quarterly 48, no. 1 (2008): 58-93.

49. Flora Y. Hatcher to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC. Moton graduated from Hampton Institute in 1890; both Hampton and Tuskegee were known for their emphasis on industrial education for African Americans. Moton succeeded Booker T. Washington and led Tuskegee from 1915 until 1935.

50. Mary I. Mullins, Report of Tenth Man Project, Booker T. Washington High School, Miami, Florida, ca. 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

51. On Black school fundraising, see Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South; Walker, Their Highest Potential; and Christine Woyshner, “’Valuable and Legitimate Services’: Black and White Women’s Philanthropy through the PTA,” in The History of Women’s Philanthropy in Education, ed. Andrea Walton (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 215-36. Overall, it was difficult to parse the Black schools from the White ones in the CIC papers. Most did not self-identify one way or the other; often I had to make educated guesses about the school based on its name, such as the one discussed in this paragraph.

52. Sosna claims that the CIC was not much more than an “expression of sentiment” and Chappell explains that members did not publicize their meetings for fear of retribution. See Sosna, In Search of the Silent South, 22, and Chappell, Inside Agitators, 36. On the planning of intercultural projects see Selig, Americans All, 77, where the author discusses the deliberate curriculum planning of Rachel Davis DuBois at the Woodbury (New Jersey) High School. On intercultural education, see Montalto, A History of the Intercultural Educational Movement, 1924-1941.

53. W.H. Stinson to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

54. Mary Virginia King to R.B. Eleazer, April 15, 1933, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

55. Flora Y. Hatcher to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

56. Report of Tenth Man Project, Senior High School, Port Arthur, Texas, n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

57. Ralph W. Stonier to R.B. Eleazer, April 30, 1937, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

58. “KHS First in US Negro Study Contest,” Kirksville Daily Express, May 6, 1934, and Pauline Dingle Knobbs to R.B. Eleazer, March 30, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

59. See Luther E. Martin, Secretary and Treasurer of Lions Club, Winston-Salem, NC, to Mrs. Anderson, Oct. 16, 1931, and Brantly C. Booe, Secretary of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem, NC, to Mrs. Anderson, Feb. 25, 1932, in CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

60. Zimmerman, Whose America, 26.

61. See Zimmerman, Whose America; Moreau, Schoolbook Nation; and Pierce, Public Opinion and the Teaching of History.

62. Knobbs, “Trends of Black America,” 15, n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

63. Pauline Dingle Knobbs, “The International Coat of Many Colors,” n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

64. Knobbs, “Trends of Black America,” 18, n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

65. Project of Kirksville Senior High School, Kirksville, MO, n.d., 1, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

66. See for example, “Mrs. Knobbs Addresses Rotary Club Today,” Kirksville Daily Express & News, January 17, 1934, and Kirksville Daily Express & News, November 12, 1933.

67. Project of Kirksville Senior High School, Kirksville, MO, n.d., 4, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

68. Ritterhouse, Growing Up Jim Crow, 182.

69. “Our Visit to the Negro School in Kirksville,” “Impression Left by Visit to the Negro School,” “Visit to Negro School,” and “Studies,” n.d. In A “Tenth Man” Project, Kirksville Senior High School, Kirksville, MO, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

70. Pauline Dingle Knobbs to R.B. Eleazer, March 15, 1932, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

71. Project of Kirksville Senior High School, Kirksville, MO, n.d., 3, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

72. Louise Porter, “A Unit of Work on ‘Education and Race Relations,’” n.d., CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

73. Flora Y. Hatcher to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

74. Mrs. M.L. Hines to R.B. Eleazer, March 31, 1931, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

75. Ritterhouse, Growing Up Jim Crow, 214.

76. Frances Everett to R.B. Eleazer, March 15, 1932, CIC Papers, Series VI, Reel 34, AUC.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 10, 2012, p. 1-23
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16674, Date Accessed: 9/19/2020 2:23:23 AM

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About the Author
  • Christine Woyshner
    Temple University
    E-mail Author
    CHRISTINE WOYSHNER is Professor of Education at Temple University. Her research investigates voluntary organizations and civil society in the history of education. Her most recent book is The National PTA, Race, and Civic Engagement, 1897–1970 (Ohio State University Press, 2009).
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