TC Adds Its Voices to Black History Month
As the nation celebrates Black History month, Teachers College faculty and alumni reflect on the past, weigh the challenges of the future and recall the College’s own contributions to improving education for black Americans. TC was the primary destination for many aspiring black educators from the South during the first half of the 20th century, when southern education schools would not accept students of color. The College was the birthplace of the field of urban education; launched Teachers for East Africa, a forerunner of the Peace Corps; has served as home to the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, founded by Professor Emeritus Edmund Gordon and now directed by Macy Professor Ernest Morrell; created the Campaign for Educational Equity, with the mission of overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between America’s most and least advantaged students; and founded both the Teachers College Community School, in West Harlem, and REACH (Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem), a partnership with six Harlem public schools that is supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
TC has been home to black faculty members such as Gordon; the late education anthropologist George Bond; health education authority Barbara Wallace and many others. It is also the alma mater of Marion Wright Thompson, the first African-American woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in history; Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first to seek a major-party Presidential nomination; Nahas Angula, former Prime Minister of Namibia; David Johns, current Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; and many other prominent African Americans across a range of fields.
During the College’s 125th anniversary celebration year, a number of these TC luminaries were interviewed for the TC Oral History Project. Excerpts from their comments, presented during that year as part of the Web series “Mini Moments with Big Thinkers,” appear below.
Published Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015