A Class All Their Own: Economic and Educational Independence of Free People of Color in Antebellum Louisiana
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This work delves into the unprecedented degree to which educational opportunity was afforded Louisiana's Free People of Color from the early 1700s to dawn of the Civil War over one hundred years later. The study of this community is intended to add breadth to the discussion of education for People of Color in the antebellum period by including an alternate story line in which a community of Color was at liberty to pursue education fully resourced and on their own terms. Moreover, this work complicates conceptions of educational achievement based on race; the experience of this community of Color challenges the understanding that all Black educational achievement in the antebellum South was impeded by Whites as it demonstrates the unusual coinciding circumstances of economic independence and non-interference by Whites in the education for Free People of Color. Not all communities of Color fell behind Whites, and not all White communities sought to confound or manipulate Black education.
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