Faculty Travel

Here at Houston Christian, once faculty members have been on campus for a number of years, they can participate in a faculty enrichment program that permits travel and research during the summer; I am really looking forward to this. I am contemplating an opportunity to travel to Germany this summer or to visit the archives of some of the most elite private schools in the nation. Both will make for a great research and writing project.  My application is due by January 6th. Here are the two proposals I am looking at drafting.

  • Retrace W.E.B. DuBois travels throughout Germany in an attempt to write about his interracial experiences with the German people at a time in American history when visits such as this were difficult.
  • Write about the historical experiences of minorities at elite and non elite independent schools. Further, I would like to compare the rise of more established elite private schools to those that emerged in the South after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case in which the South saw a number of non sectarian schools emerge such as the St. Johns School of Houston. The same is true of Montgomery Academy in Alabama. A number of Christian schools also emerged at this time as a result of the integration of public schools. While writing a paper a few years ago on the experiences of teachers of color at independent schools. I formulated a relationship with an African-American educational leader at a local independent school here in Houston. He shared some information with me regarding his school’s early history, which allowed us to formulate a relationship. It was our discussion and an earlier paper I presented on teachers of color at independent schools that got me thinking about doing more historical research and writing on the history of independent schools from the point of view of minorities. In my earlier research, I discovered that many top minority faculty members believe they added a different and unique intellectual experience to their communities. However, they also shared with me the many challenges, too.
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5 thoughts on “Faculty Travel

  1. Taylor, it would seem that way in terms of the extent to what I said about the second. I am leaning in that direction. There seems to be more that has not been addressed in the latter statement. Mucho fun of course.

  2. This (the second one) is a topic of great interest to me as well. Actually, I wrote my major seminar paper in graduate school on the rise of “white flight” schools, and one in particular in the Alabama Black Belt which is now (or at least was a few years ago) majority black. An interesting turn of events to say the least. I think what you’ll find is that most of the “elite” schools of the South were actually around and well-established before Brown, but that they certainly benefited from the fear which came from it. I’m thinking in particular of places like Westminster in Atlanta and Charlotte Country Day School in NC. The real growth though came in the “seg academies” that popped up in nearly every southern town throughout the sixties and seventies. After all, desegregation didn’t really come to most places until well into the sixties. In any event, I’d be very interested in following your research on this topic, should you choose to pursue it.

  3. Matt,

    I grew up in Montgomery, Al. My interest in this topic can be linked back to the role of independent schools; here in Houston, we have a rich history regarding white flight. Much of what I am seeking to do lands in the time frame between 1942 – 1978. Religious schools here most interest me in that so many Protestant schools were established in church basements — as you know. The headmaster at CCDS used to be at the St. John’s School of Houston; a very elite school. He is African American. Not only that, but CCDS has worked hard to correct its past by being proactive in the recruitment of African Americans.

  4. Sorry, but I think I lost track of this thread. In any event, I too am from Alabama. Was born in Birmingham and lived just outside, but moved away (to the Gulf Coast of MS) at a young age. Still have lots of family in the state, though, and I got my M.A. at the University of Alabama, where I specialized in southern history. I’d be very interested to swap thoughts/ideas with you on this topic at some point, as it is one that greatly interests me as well.

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