The Reaction from North Carolina: Destroy Black Schoolhouses

A Ban of Free Blacks and Slaves from the Public Schools

4/21/20231 min read

First, North Carolina prevented the teaching of reading or writing of slaves. North Carolina, often considered a less drastic state for slaves, then got further into the action. After passing the anti-literacy laws, it passed a law keeping blacks away from jobs as clerks or salesmen. More importantly, the law provided for the destruction of schools for free blacks and slaves. The law banned free blacks and slaves from the public schools.

From C.H. Woodson:

"In 1834 South Carolina saw the same danger. In addition to enacting a more stringent law for the prevention of the teaching of Negroes by white or colored friends, and for the destruction of their schools, it provided that persons of African blood should not be employed as clerks or salesmen in or about any shop or store or house used for trading."

"An act passed by the Legislature that year (1835) prohibited the public instruction of Negroes, making it impossible for youth of African descent to get any more education than what they could in their own family circle. The public school system established thereafter specifically provided that its benefits should not extend to any descendant from Negro ancestors to the fourth generation inclusive."