New York African Free Schools and Their Convention Legacies


New York African Free Schools and Their Convention Legacies

This exhibit seeks to expand our understanding of the education debates in the Colored Conventions by exploring the legacy of the New York African Free Schools. The questions that animated many Colored Conventions—how to prepare for and inhabit citizenship, how to best dissipate white prejudice, and how to envision a future—were introduced to many delegates during their days as schoolchildren.


Curators: Alyssa Amaral, Amy Fehr, Amanda M. Greenwell, Daniel J. Pfeiffer, Kaylee Jangula Mootz, and Mariel Smith. Taught by Anna Mae Duane, University of Connecticut, Fall 2016.

Edited by The Colored Conventions Project Exhibits Team: Sarah Patterson, Samantha de Vera, Simone Austin, and Kelli Coles.

Cover Image A cartoon titled “Colored scholars learning their lessons on the street; Colored scholars on their way to school.” Courtesy of the Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library.

Special thanks to Gale, a Cengage Company, and Accessible Archives Inc.® for granting permission for the use of the materials from 19th Century U.S. Newspaper and African American Newspapers: The 19th Century.

The Colored Conventions Project works with teaching partners and their students to create digital content on the rich history of Black political organizing in the nineteenth-century. Visit our Teaching Partners page to browse the curriculum and find information on becoming a teaching partner.