The American Missionary Association offered knowledge


Samuel Cornish
Date: 
Thu, 1846-09-03

*On this date in 1846 the American Missionary Association (AMA) was founded. The AMA trained and educated slaves, it was the first such organization to teach southern slaves in a creditable and organized manner.

The AMA was both a missionary and abolitionist society focusing more on education to freed slaves after the start of the Civil War. They opened their first school on the grounds of the Chesapeake Female College across the Hampton River in Virginia on September 17, 1861. In just a few years, the AMA opened schools in North Carolina, Morehead, Roanoke Island, and Beaufort. By 1868, the AMA had over five hundred teacher and missionaries throughout the south and near the border states. Their teachers often lived and worked with BLACK families, yet failed to recognize and encourage the richness of African-American culture.

The AMA’s most positive contribution that has stood the test of time has been the many black colleges and Universities it helped establish. The list includes Fisk University, Breea College, Atlanta University, Talladega College, LeMoyne Institute, and Straight University (now Dillard University).

Reference:
Christian reconstruction: the American Missionary Association and Southern Blacks, 1861-1890
By: Joe Martin Richardson
University of Georgia Press, ©1986.
ISBN: 0820308161

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