Monday, December 1, 2014

The Education of African Americans in Southern New Jersey from 1920--1945

Accumulation of knowledge: The Education of African Americans in Southern New Jersey from 1920--1945
Allen, Janet E.. Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2011. 3464711.

The participants’ parents who had greater socio-economic status than their peers and/or had cultural and social capital were able to orchestrate their children’s education. These parents chose an educational path for their children that included college attendance or attending the manual training school in
Bordentown. Parents with capital were able to lay a foundation for success in an era that segregated and discriminated against blacks.

The Manual Training and Industrial Institute at Bordentown for Colored Youth offered its students the opportunity to learn a skill or trade that would insure their employment. The school was modeled after Tuskegee Institute and offered a manual training and an academic track.

Students enrolled in the academic track also had to learn a trade before graduating. Parents sent their children to this school because of its purpose and it offered the students a safe and secure residential campus environment. The participant who attended Bordentown was proud of its heritage and spent a good part of her interview reminiscing about the schools purpose, her courses, the curriculum, the principal and teachers, All of the teachers and the principal were black, and she described what each one of her teachers taught and painted a verbal picture of how they looked. There was an excitement and sense of belonging in her experience that was unlike those of the other participants who attended integrated public schools.

Throughout the interviews, participants not only talked about their parents’ aspirations for their children’s education, but discussed what their parents did and sacrificed to fulfill their dreams for their children’s futures

 Very fine kids came from Bordentown and could find employment
because they were well-qualified and able.
The refined people were trained at Bordentown to become butlers. They were hired by refined families. You couldn’t be all loud and rude and keep those jobs they wouldn't have you..
And the butlers in Cape May were more refined and when they retired they came to Cape May so therefore brought that culture with them. They didn’t bother with them other kind of people and I don’t blame them. It was a wonderful training. Those that wanted to be trained could be.

M: There was such a few of them and they were older. But as Wildwood grew larger and larger and they didn't have enough in Wildwood to supply them. However, some of the black waitresses went around cleaning the community houses which are now known as bed and breakfasts. That is something they don't have anymore. A community house; it's like a bed and breakfasts, you had the privilege to use the community kitchen. There are too many restaurants most of them were Jewish houses. And they have a room with the kitchen use. And the maids did not clean up after themselves they would just cook but they didn't wash dishes. That was a job for the black girls to clean everybody's dishes but they kept the place clean they would clean up the whole kitchen and wash everybody's dishes. And what food not thrown away the girls could bring home. So, therefore they still needed more help.

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