Schooling Citizens and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $40.00
  • Save: $11.55 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Trade in your item
Get a $2.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America Hardcover – December 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0226542492 ISBN-10: 0226542491 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $28.45
13 New from $28.45 20 Used from $4.31
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$28.45 $4.31

Frequently Bought Together

Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America + Along Freedom Road: Hyde County, North Carolina, and the Fate of Black Schools in the South + See Government Grow: Education Politics from Johnson to Reagan
Price for all three: $70.47

Buy the selected items together


Teacher Supplies
Browse our Teacher Supplies store, with everything teachers need to educate students and expand their learning.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226542491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226542492
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“In Schooling Citizens Hilary Moss makes a splendid contribution to the history of race relations in the antebellum period. Case studies of episodes in New Haven, Baltimore, and Boston illuminate crucial relationships between schooling, citizenship, and race. The cases require careful analysis because they defy easy generalizations about the legacy of slavery or regional differences. The result is a nuanced view of the attitudes that swirled around white opposition to black education in these years; what conditions, in contrast, fostered black education; and what was at stake for African Americans. The case-study approach lends itself to a wedding of intellectual history with turbulent social confrontation and thus animates this important study.”

(Carl Kaestle, Brown University)

“I cannot think of any other book that is like Schooling Citizens, which makes an important contribution both to the historiography of African Americans and to the history of education in America. Well-written and well-argued, this book is an original contribution to scholarship.”

(Shane White, University of Sydney)

“Hilary Moss has made a major contribution to our understanding of the links between race, citizenship, and schooling in the antebellum era. Using a wide range of sources, from African American newspapers to employment records to census data, this clear and compelling account shows how black communities in both the North and the South pursued education as a key to citizenship, only to confront whites who viewed educated blacks as a threat to their own standing in the American body politic. Drawing readers into the daily life of three racially diverse and dynamic cities, Moss illuminates the shortcomings—and thus the deeper meanings—of the ‘common school crusade.’ Anyone who reads Schooling Citizens will be forced to grapple seriously with Moss’s provocative assertion that, for some, the promise of schooling may have been a fiction from the start.’”


(Adam Nelson, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“The historical events described in Schooling Citizens foreshadow many subsequent struggles over education and race. Hilary J. Moss clearly demonstrates that adding race to conversations about the history of American education reveals how inequity was embedded into public schools from the start. This well-researched and well-written volume brings together untapped records and a careful analysis of previously underutilized archival materials to reveal the long struggle for black educational equality. It is an important work that forces a reconsideration of America's commitment to universal education.”

“Hilary J. Moss offers an important corrective to the literature of the common schools by identifying race as a factor in their development. . . . With her detailed case examinations, Moss brings into focus the localized debates that contributed to the patchwork nature of American educational policy and provides awareness of both white and black activism surrounding integration that preceded Brown v. Board of Education by more than a century.”
(Ellen L. Berg Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth)

Schooling Citizens is a worthy contribution to the study of African- American struggles for access to education and schooling in the pre- Civil War era. . . . Hilary J. Moss asks us to ponder why Americans, both white and black, often believed in the democratic promise of schooling even though fair treatment and equal opportunity were so rarely realized.”
(William J. Reese Journal of Interdisciplinary History)

‘There has been an immeasurable amount of research done on the educational history of African Americans, but until recently little attention has been paid to the education of African Americans during the antebellum era, particularly in the North. Hilary J. Moss’s evidentiary rich, meticulously researched, and masterfully written book is an important contribution on the subject. It illustrates the successes and challenges African Americans faced in primarily three locales—New Haven, Baltimore, and Boston. . . . Schooling Citizens should be read by anyone interested in nineteenth-century race relations, social history, or the educational history of African Americans. It seeks to address an inherent contradiction in the mythology of American education—that schools were accessible to all—and it demonstrates the complications race played in questions related to not only citizenship and schooling but also the meaning of democracy itself.”
(Christopher M. Span Journal of American History)

About the Author

Hilary J. Moss is associate professor of history and black studies at Amherst College.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven M. Katz on July 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It gives a whole new perspective of conditions in the North and South as it relates to educating African Americans - conditions that will surprise you. Its one of those "I can't put down" books. It should be mandatory reading for high school students.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again