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College of Education

“Freedom’s Lawmakers: Black Leadership During Reconstruction”

National Endowment for the Humanities funds institute for educators

A newly announced grant will allow more than two dozen teachers from around the country to travel to the University of South Carolina to learn about the impact of black elected officials during Reconstruction and how to best teach these lessons to their students.


The College of Education will host a summer institute for teachers on, “Freedom’s Lawmakers: Black Leadership During Reconstruction” in July 2020. The Center for Innovation in Higher Education, in partnership with the UofSC School of Law, the South Carolina Historical Society, and the Penn Center in Beaufort, South Carolina, was awarded a grant for $176,440 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund the institute. The project is directed by Christian K. Anderson, associate professor of higher education, and Kenneth Gaines, professor of law emeritus.

For so many years the Reconstruction era has been misunderstood and even much maligned. This workshop helps teachers see Reconstruction through new eyes with the latest historical scholarship about the period. They will then be able to teach their own students with this new understanding.

Christian Anderson, associate professor of higher education

The three-week institute (July 5 - 25, 2020) will focus on the impact and legacy of black elected officials during Reconstruction. Teachers at primary and secondary schools (K-12) from around the country will be eligible to apply and 25 will be selected to participate. The institute will include lectures, discussions and individual consultations between participants and faculty, as well as field trips to museums, historic cemeteries, libraries and archives in Columbia, Charleston and St. Helena Island.

Speakers include:

  • Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University
  • Richard Gergal, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina
  • Kate Masur, associate professor of history and African American Studies, Northwestern University
  • Jon Hale, associate professor of education, University of South Carolina
  • Bernard Powers, director, Center for the Study of Slavery, College of Charleston
  • Joshua Brown, professor emeritus of history, City University of New York
  • Daisy Martin, director, History and Civics Project, University of California – Santa Cruz
  • Emory Campbell, executive director emeritus, Penn Center, St. Helena Island, SC
  • Katherine Chaddock, professor emerita, University of South Carolina
  • Thomas Brown, professor of history, University of South Carolina

More information will be available online. Inquiries can be directed to Christian Anderson at (803) 777-6702 or or to Kenneth Gaines at (803) 777-8903 or




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