Contribute to Harvard’s Black Teacher Archives Project

Help create an historical record of Black teachers’ contributions.

Do you come from a family of teachers? Was your grandmother, great aunt or great-grandmother a teacher before 1970 who belonged to one of the “Colored Teacher Associations” of the time? Do you know a librarian or archivist who’s good at finding publications from the past?

Harvard School of Education is looking for copies of  Colored Teacher Associations’ journals from the early and mid 20th century. Collecting them is the first goal of an exciting and important research project, the Black Teacher Archive.  It was launched in 2020 as “an archival initiative to preserve the political and intellectual contributions of Black educators before 1970.”  

Phase 1 of the project is to “locate, digitize and create an open access portal for ‘Colored Teacher Association’ publications.” These professional associations were active from the mid 1920s up until about 1970.  Here’s a link to learn more about what the Black Teachers Archive project needs, with the names of the Black teachers’ associations listed, along with the names of their respective publications.

Harvard Assistant Professor Jarvis R. Givens and Princeton Professor Imani Perry are the project’s lead investigators. (Earlier this year, we recommended Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, Givens’ first book.) He is a leading researcher, author and expert on the history of Black education in the U.S., and a strong advocate and spokesman for bringing Black men into the teaching profession.

Imani Perry is Professor at Princeton University's Department of African American Studies and a faculty associate with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Jazz Studies. She is the author of six books; her most recent one is Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Beacon Press, 2019).  She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, and a BA from Yale College in Literature and American Studies.  Her writing and scholarship focuses on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination in response to–and resistance against–the social, political and legal realities of domination in the West. 

The Black Teacher Archive project is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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