The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs, 1932-1961

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Carlson Pub., 1989 - History - 334 pages
This book reviews the history of the Highlander Folk School (Summerfield, Tennessee) and describes school programs that were developed to support Black and White southerners involved in social change. The Highlander Folk School was a small, residential adult education institution founded in 1932. The first section of the book provides background information on Myles Horton, the founder of the school, and on circumstances that led him to establish the school. Horton's experience growing up in the South, as well as his educational experience as a sociology and theology student, served to strengthen his dedication to democratic social change through education. The next four sections of the book describe the programs developed during the school's 30-year history, including educational programs for the unemployed and impoverished residents of Cumberland Mountain during the Great Depression; for new leaders in the southern industrial union movement during its critical period; for groups of small farmers when the National Farmers Union sought to organize in the South; and for adult and student leadership in the emerging civil rights movement. Horton's pragmatic leadership allowed educational programs to evolve in order to meet community needs. For example, Highlander's civil rights programs began with a workshop on school desegregation and evolved more broadly to prepare volunteers from civil rights groups to teach "citizenship schools," where Blacks could learn basic literacy skills needed to pass voter registration tests. Beginning in 1958, and until the school's charter was revoked and its property confiscated by the State of Tennessee in 1961, the school was under mounting attacks by highly-placed government leaders and others because of its support of the growing civil rights movement. Contains 270 references, chapter notes, and an index. (LP)

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Early Resident Sessions
A Residential Program for New Union Leadership

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About the author (1989)

David J. Garrow is an American historian, born in Massachusetts in 1953. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, and earned his Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the City University of New York, The Cooper Union, the College of William and Mary, American University, and Emory University. Currently, he is Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of numerous essays, articles, and academic writings. His books include Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade; Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Protest at Selma. His book, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Biography, and the seventh annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His latest book is Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.

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