TitleWiley College and the Literacy Project
NameBatten, James C. (author), Thomas, Lorrin (chair), Rutgers University, Camden Graduate School,
Wiley College (Marshall, Tex.)--History
DescriptionIn the years after the Civil War until the 1930s, blacks in America undertook a literacy project -- a vast effort, long-lived, undertaken not by the power, authority, or bureaucracy of government, but instead by blacks acting on their own, unaware of similar efforts in a thousand other places. In the project, Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, a Historically Black College, assumed the obligation to develop leaders, equip teachers, and contribute in any way possible to Negro literacy. Scholars of black colleges have lumped all black colleges together and assumed that what was true about one college was true of all. While this paper does not argue that Wiley College is a representative case study, its story is so different from widely accepted narratives about black colleges that the paper supports the need for historians to take a fresh look at accepted narratives. Commonly held narratives state that the two crucial elements of Negro college success were overall direction by northern church denominations in the 1800s and financial support from northern foundations in the early decades of the twentieth century; they deny agency to leaders and supporters of HBCs like Wiley College. The narrative I trace shows people of Wiley, its President, Matthew W. Dogan, and the blacks of East Texas in charge of the college and engaged in the literacy project.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby James C. Batten
CollectionCamden Graduate School Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.