Lee Martin

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cunningham, Phyllis M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Jones; Laurence Clifton; 1884-1975; African American educators--Southern States--History; African Americans--Education (Secondary)--History


The educational philosophy of African-American educators has transcended the boundaries and the categorization emphasized by their mainstream counterparts. The educational practices of African Americans have evolved in relationship to the group's sociopolitical status in America. The group's emphasis in both general and adult education has sought ways to transcend racial domination despite mainstream educational literature and philosophy. Examining the ways in which African Americans have viewed and used education, this study focused on the philosophical contributions of Laurence C. Jones and the role of Piney Woods School to community and adult education during the Jim Crow era of legal segregation (late 1890s–1960s). The purpose of this study was to expand the historical and literature base of African Americans' involvement in the field of adult education, to document educational programs and philosophies developed and used by and for African Americans, and to give voice to and tell the stories of a group whose experiences and contributions have been routinely ignored and marginalized in America. An Africentric perspective that recognizes African and African-American intellect (thought and construction of knowledge) as the basis from which to analyze the experiences of African Americans frames the discourse for this study. An essential aspect of Africentrism is that it builds upon theoretical principles outlined by previous Africentric inquiry. Principal to this study were the philosophical contributions of selected African-American educational theorists, specifically Miller and Colin. This study seeks to expand upon the tenets of Colin's philosophy of selfethnic reliance. Data were obtained from interviews with former students, a local historian and administrator, a review of Laurence C. Jones's writings, and relevant publications. Culturally grounded, the following three themes that emerged from the analyses acknowledged the existence of racism and its impact on African Americans: (a) education for self-determination, (b) education for economic independence, and (c) education “by any means necessary.” These themes acknowledged that Laurence C. Jones and Piney Woods School, within the framework of the philosophy of selfethnic reliance, provided community education, adult education, general education, cultural education, industrial education, and higher learning.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [123]-133)


xvi, 177 pages




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