Back to Results

< Previous   Next >

This qualitative research study explores the stories of Black men and women who attended Adkin High School during the years 1928-1970, when education in the rural South was segregated. These stories show how the interrelationships of school, community, family, and church can deeply affect education. The ultimate goal of this study is to add to the body of knowledge of segregated education in the rural South by documenting the relationships and educational experiences of these African American students within their eastern North Carolina community during segregation. This historical ethnography combines historical inquiry and ethnography to chronicle the historical perspective and cultural impact of the relationships centering in this all-Black High School, which no longer exists structurally yet remains culturally preserved through its former students and the Black community in Kinston. This cultural preservation is maintained through the stories of their educational experiences, which are all about the relationships. Beyond stories of the relationships and how they influenced the educational experiences of Adkin High School students, other stories emerged-stories that illustrate how the network of relationships empowered students to resist and struggle against inequities and eventually triumph over them. These stories are no less significant and demand cultural preservation. Many of today's school reform efforts include recommendations for schools and education professionals to embrace community, include it in student learning, and create a sense of it within the school. Emulating the interrelationships of segregated Black education will aid school reform leaders and policymakers to improve the educational experiences of African American children.