When you think of the history of Black education in the United States, you might think of Brown vs. Board of Education and the fight to integrate public schools. But there's a parallel history too, of Black people pooling their resources to educate and empower themselves independently.
Enslaved people learned to read and write whenever and wherever they could, often in secret and against the law. "In accomplishing this, I was compelled to resort to various stratagems,"like convincing white children to help him, wrote Frederick Douglass. "I had no regular teacher."