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Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools: Sankofa Lessons from Exemplars of Emancipatory Education

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Abstract:

Sankofa, a word from the Ghanaian language of Twi, means “go back and get it.” The answers we seek for the current crisis in black education lie within the emancipatory education efforts of the past. The Citizenship Schools were developed in South Carolina by Esau Jenkins and Septima Clark to help black voters pass racist “citizenship” tests that served as an exclusionary tactic of the white power structure.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) version of Freedom Schools were developed as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 to provide a space for local school-aged young people and some adults to learn beyond the barriers of the state's oppression. Each of these emancipatory education efforts exemplify the sanctity of our black ancestry as it relates to teaching and learning in spite of the hateful arrangements of white supremacy.

The presenters first define emancipatory education. They then explore concepts of liberation and the development of an intellectual identity for black people found in the examples of the Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools. These informal examples of education were integral to the black freedom movement of the 1950’s and 60’s by serving as an educational component that supported and informed direct action. They conclude with implications for learning from the continuum of movement history these past efforts represent in informing present efforts to build and maintain systems of emancipatory education for black children.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298293_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Etienne, Leslie. and Jackson, Tambra. "Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools: Sankofa Lessons from Exemplars of Emancipatory Education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298293_index.html>

APA Citation:

Etienne, L. and Jackson, T. O. "Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools: Sankofa Lessons from Exemplars of Emancipatory Education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298293_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: Sankofa, a word from the Ghanaian language of Twi, means “go back and get it.” The answers we seek for the current crisis in black education lie within the emancipatory education efforts of the past. The Citizenship Schools were developed in South Carolina by Esau Jenkins and Septima Clark to help black voters pass racist “citizenship” tests that served as an exclusionary tactic of the white power structure.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) version of Freedom Schools were developed as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 to provide a space for local school-aged young people and some adults to learn beyond the barriers of the state's oppression. Each of these emancipatory education efforts exemplify the sanctity of our black ancestry as it relates to teaching and learning in spite of the hateful arrangements of white supremacy.

The presenters first define emancipatory education. They then explore concepts of liberation and the development of an intellectual identity for black people found in the examples of the Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools. These informal examples of education were integral to the black freedom movement of the 1950’s and 60’s by serving as an educational component that supported and informed direct action. They conclude with implications for learning from the continuum of movement history these past efforts represent in informing present efforts to build and maintain systems of emancipatory education for black children.


 
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