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History of African American Education in N.C.: General & Topical Background Histories

Resources included on this page

Photograph of Kittrell College.

Photograph of Kittrell College,
from An Era of Progress and Promise, 1908-1912,
published 1910.


This page contains general and topical resources on the history of African American education in North Carolina and the South. Resources include:

    Published Histories in printed books
    Online Encyclopedias
    Print Encyclopedias
    Theses and Disserations
    Selected online resources (exhibits, museums, videos, websites)

    Links to search results by Library of Congress subject heading, at the State Library of North Carolina

For print books and unpublished dissertations and theses, web links included with resources are for the publication's catalog record in WorldCat. WorldCat is an online catalog that searches libraries around the world.  You can follow the link to the item record and search for a library near you that may have the book or be able to obtain the book for you by interlibrary loan.

Print resources with an * are in the physical collection of the Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina, located at 109 East Jones Street in Raleigh, N.C.

Published Histories (Print Books)

Items with an * are in the collection of the State Library of North Carolina.  Additional items at the State Library can be found by clicking here.

*Batchelor, John E. 2015. Race and education in North Carolina: from segregation to desegregation.

Brown, Hugh Victor. 1964. E-qual-ity education in North Carolina among Negroes. [Raleigh, N.C.]: [Irving-Swain Press].

*Cecelski, David S. 1994. Along freedom road: Hyde County, North Carolina and the fate of Black schools in the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

*Dabney, Charles William. 1936. Universal education in the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Davis, Junius A., and Anne Borders-Patterson. 1973. Black students in predominantly white North Carolina colleges and universities. New York: College Entrance Examination Board.

*Franklin, John Hope. 1995. The free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

*Hartshorn, W. N., and George W. Penniman. 1910. An era of progress and promise, 1863-1910: the religious, moral, and educational development of the American Negro since his emancipation. Boston, Mass: Priscilla Pub. Co.

Available online at:

*Leloudis, James L. 1996. Schooling the New South: pedagogy, self, and society in North Carolina, 1880-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

*Murray, Percy. 1984. History of the North Carolina Teachers Association. [Washington, D.C.]: NEA.

*Newbold, N. C.1939. Five North Carolina Negro educators. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

Nieman, Donald G. 1994. African Americans and education in the South, 1865-1900. New York: Garland.

*Reed, Betty Jamerson. 2011. School segregation in western North Carolina: a history, 1860s-1970s. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company.

*Walker, Vanessa Siddle. 1996. Their highest potential: an African American school community in the segregated South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

*Smith, Charles Lee. 2005 [orig. pub. 1888]. The history of education in North Carolina. [Chapel Hill, N.C.]: University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.

*Thuesen, Sarah Caroline. 2013. Greater than equal African American struggles for schools and citizenship in North Carolina, 1919-1965. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

*Williams, Heather Andrea. 2005. Self-taught: African American education in slavery and freedom. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.; State Library of NC catalog: 370.8996073075 W723s 

Print Encyclopedias

Appiah, Anthony, and Henry Louis Gates. 1999. Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience. New York: Basic Civitas Books.

Finkelman, Paul. 2009. Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present: from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lomotey, Kofi. 2010. Encyclopedia of African American education. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Smith, Jessie Carney, Millicent Lownes Jackson, and Linda T. Wynn. 2006. Encyclopedia of African American business. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Walker, Juliet E. K. 1999. Encyclopedia of African American business history. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Selected Online Resources

Online exhibits and resources:

The Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, (searchable database)

National Museum of American History.  Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education. (online exhibit)

Durham County Public Library. The Women Who Ran the Schools: The Jeanes Teachers and Durham County's Rural Black Schools. (online exhibit, includes extensive bibliographies)

DigitalNC Blog. Early African American Schools in Winston-Salem.

Orange NCHistory. [Hillsborough High School for Negroes.] Blog. Februrary 21, 2014.

HBCU Library Alliance. A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University.

Video and audio resources:

Isothermal TV, Black Heritage Museum. The History of African American Education in Rutherford County. Video. September 26, 2013. YouTube.

Museum and historic sites websites:

Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, North Carolina Historic Sites

National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. African American History Month: Liberty School [Richmond Co., NC].

North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.  Search results for places/highway markers related to African American Education in North Carolina.

Reports available online:

Gasman, Marybeth. 2013. The Changing Face of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. UPenn Graduate School of Education.

Theses and Dissertations

This list contains a selection of dissertations and theses on various aspects of the history of African American education in North Carolina from the 19th century to present. For additional theses and dissertations, visit these search results at Items with an * are in the collection of the State Library of North Carolina.

Abel, Joanne. 2009. Persistence and sacrifice: Durham County's African American community & Durham's Jeanes teachers build community and schools, 1900-1930. Thesis (MA)--Duke University.

Boggs, W. H. (1972). State-supported higher education for Blacks in North Carolina, 1877-1945. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Duke University.

Chujo, K. (1990). The black struggle for education in North Carolina, 1877-1900. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Duke University.

*Cooke, D. H. (1930). The white superintendent and the Negro schools in North Carolina. Nashville, Tenn: George Peabody College for Teachers. Thesis (Ph. D.)--George Peabody College for Teachers.

Davis, Owena Hunter. 1944. A history of Mary Potter School, Oxford, North Carolina. Thesis (Master's)--North Carolina Central University [North Carolina College for Negroes].

Gadsden, I. J. (1968). The historical development and social implications of the public health education program at North Carolina College at Durham. Thesis (Ph.D.) – UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lamanna, R. A. (1967). The Negro public school teacher and school desegragation: A survey of Negro teachers in North Carolina. Thesis--UNC-Chapel Hill.

*Long, H. M. (1932). Public secondary education for Negroes in North Carolina. Teachers college, Columbia University. Thesis (Ph.D.)--Teachers College, Columbia University.

Morgan, E. W. (1940). A racial comparison of education in Robeson County (North Carolina).Thesis (MA)--University of North Carolina.

Moses, M. I.-I. (1989). Universal education for African-Americans in North Carolina: A historical survey of the beginning years through 1927. Thesis (Ph.D.)--North Carolina State University.

Murphy, E. L. (1973). Origin and development of Fayetteville State Teachers College, 1867-1959: A chapter in the history of the education of Negroes in North Carolina.

Thompson, H. W. (1973). A history of Negro education in the Catawba County school system from 1865 to 1960. Thesis (Ed.D.)--Pennsylvania State University.

Thuesen, S. C. (2003). Classes of citizenship: The culture and politics of black public education in North Carolina, 1919-1960. Thesis (Ph.D.)--UNC-Chapel Hill.

Warlick, Kenneth R. 1981. Practical education and the Negro college in North Carolina, 1880-1930. Thesis (Ph.D.) – UNC-Chapel Hill. Thesis (Ph.D.) – UNC-Chapel Hill.

Westin, R. B. (1975). The state and segregated schools: Negro public education in North Carolina, 1863-1923. Thesis – Duke.