In November 1865, a convention of freedmen met in Charleston, South Carolina to demand new rights for African Americans. Foremost among their demands was education for their children. The resolution here was issued by the convention. This is Handout 3.5 (p. 46) from The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy.
Whereas, “Knowledge is power,” and an educated and intelligent people can neither be held in, nor reduced to slavery; Therefore [be it] Resolved, That we will insist upon the establishment of good schools for the thorough education of our children throughout the State; that, to this end, we will contribute freely and liberally of our means, and will earnestly and persistently urge forward every measure calculated to elevate us to the rank of a wise, enlightened and Christian people. Resolved, That we solemnly urge the parents and guardians of the young and rising generation, by the sad recollection of our forced ignorance and degradation in the past, and by the bright and inspiring hopes of the future, to see that schools are at once established in every neighborhood; and when so established, to see to it that every child of proper age, is kept in regular attendance upon the same.1
- 1 Proceedings of the Colored People's Convention of the State of South Carolina, Held in Zion Church, Charleston, November 1865 (Charleston: South Carolina Leader Office, 1865), accessed September 18, 2014, Proceedings of the Colored People's Convention of the State of South Carolina.