Educating the Masses
The Unfolding History of Black School Administrators in Arkansas, 1900–2000
Editor: C. Calvin Smith
Contributing Editor: Linda Walls Joshua

A gallery of unsung heroes

Under segregation and in its aftermath, black teachers and principals created havens of dignity and uplift for their students and communities. In Arkansas, where even education for white children has always been underfunded, the work of these administrators has been particularly heroic. This book, researched and prepared by the Research Committee of the Retired Educators of Little Rock and Other Public Schools, outlines the challenges to generations of black administrators in the state, and it maps their achievements. It also offers the first reference guide to the personnel who have educated generations of black children through the most extreme of circumstances.

“While the chief aim of Educating the Masses is to venerate the legacy of several generations of dedicated black educators, the last three chapters of the book set out a poignant reminder, a chilling warning, and a continuing challenge for all citizens of Arkansas. . . . The challenge, of course, is to continue to follow the example of the black educators celebrated in this volume in working for an educational system that will provide both quality and opportunity to all young Arkansans.”
—Thomas C. Kennedy, Arkansas Historical Quarterly

“An arresting account of professional dedication which, although long confronted by unremitting racial adversity, has resulted today in remarkable progress in public education in Arkansas. Professors Smith and Joshua have rendered a valuable service with their comp-rehensive history.”
—David Levering Lewis, author of W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 and W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919–1963 (both Henry Holt & Co.), winners of the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1994 and 2001.

“A compelling social history . . . a story of triumph over incredible adversity.”
—John Graves, author of Town and Country: Race Relations in an Urban-Rural Context, Arkansas, 1865–1905 (Arkansas, 1991)


C. Calvin Smith is a professor of history at Arkansas State University and the author of War and Wartime Changes: The Transformation of Arkansas, 1940–1945 (Arkansas, 1986). Linda Walls Joshua is an assistant professor of education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.


$19.95, paper (s)
978-1-55728-806-6 | 1-55728-806-2

6" X 9"
194 pages
$29.95, cloth (s)
978-1-55728-744-1 | 1-55728-744-9