Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



This problem arises out of the general field of the development of American Democracy as it expresses itself in the development of opportunities for all its people through the medium of education. In these times when democracy is on trial all over the world it may be profitable to review the past of the American brand to see if it has the strength of experience for the new task.

A cursory glance at the contemporary condition of the institutions entrusted with the handing on of the traditions of our culture has convinced many of the inadequacy of the whole effort. This is especially true in that segment of American education that we call "education for the Negro." This is not a new condition, but has existed over a number of years. It is clear to this writer that for the period of this study, 1890-1914, higher education for the Negro was somewhat inadequate. It was designed, from the standpoint of the whites, to prepare the Negro for limited economic competence and assist in his exclusion from politics in the Southern scene. Negroes, wittingly or unwittingly, fell into this scheme, and though divided among themselves as to aims, rode out the tide of industrial education in the wake of the Washington philosophy and machine.

The test of experience did not bear out the vaunted aims of the so-called Washington philosophy.1 The condition of the several "colleges" included in this study makes the whole idea sound hollow. Questionable high schools at best, the limited trade curriculum, teachers, plant, and funds, while showing improvement, were far from sufficient to prepare the Negro for competitive bidding in our industrial order.

The scope of this study is limited to the period 1890-1914. This study begins with the year 1890 for two definite reasons. In 1890 the second Morrill Act was passed. Also, this was about the time, when Negroes were being steadily put out of politics. This study closed with the year 1914, because that was the year when World War I, which had a decisive effect upon Negro education, began and, also, it was the eve of the death of the great educational leader, Booker T. Washington, whose philosophy dominated Negro education for this period.

1See p. 20.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George R. Woolfolk

Committee Member

J. M. Drew


Prairie View A&M College


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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