Education for freedmen


Before the Civil War it was illegal to teach slaves to read or write; after the war The Alabama Baptist Editor Samuel Henderson urged Alabama Baptists to support education for former slaves. He called supporting schools like the Lincoln Normal School pictured above “our Christian duty.” Photo courtesy of Special Collection, Samford University Library, Birmingham, Alabama

In April 1866 following the end of the Civil War, the need for schools for African-American children caused a discussion about the need for change in Alabama. Unfortunately there were little funds for anything other than rebuilding and education was not a top priority for everyone. The majority of African-American children lived in rural areas and most schools could only be found in cities. The editor of The Alabama Baptist was passionate about the need for education and felt it was our “solemn duty” to help. Southern Baptists had been working in Africa for many years as missionaries with the African people and they continued their work in Alabama with the recently freed slaves. (TAB)

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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