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.