Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Living legacies: Black women, educational philosophies, and community service, 1865–1965

Stephanie Yvette Evans, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The first chapter of this dissertation is an introduction to the topics of community service-learning and Black women's intellectual history. The author outlines definitions, theoretical frameworks, guiding questions, and methodological approaches in this research. Here, Ms. Evans explains the contribution that Black women's educational philosophies can make to current practices of community service-learning. Chapter Two is a survey of the presence, oppression, contribution, and creative resistance of Black women in United States educational systems between Emancipation in 1865 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A comprehensive picture of research on Black women's educational experience in the United States is presented. Ms. Evans argues that Black women's educational experiences offer a rich historical context in which to comprehend the larger social conditions in which contemporary educators are working. In Chapter Three, the author presents four educators whose work provide clear examples of how Black women have theorized and practiced community-based education. The writing of Frances (Fanny) Jackson Coppin (1837–1913), Anna Julia Cooper (1858?–1964), Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955), and Septima Poinsette Clark (1898–1987) are presented. Connections are made between these educators' intellectual development and their work for local, national, and international community empowerment. In Chapter Four, the author details the contribution that this work makes to Black women's intellectual history. Ms. Evans analyzes the experiences and thoughts of the four Black women case studies, considers aspects of Black Feminist Thought, and outlines the impact of cultural identity on social experience. Recommendations are made about how to use historical analysis in order to practice community service-learning in a culturally appropriate manner. In Chapter Five, areas of future research are presented, specifically those areas that relate to the ideas of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and John Dewey. Lastly, Ms. Evans includes observations about her own experiences as a student and practitioner of community service-learning. In Chapter Six, “A Discussion on Sources,” the author reviews the most popular service-learning literature and surveys African American educational historiography that is relevant to those doing service-learning work.

Subject Area

Black history|Education history|Educational theory|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Evans, Stephanie Yvette, "Living legacies: Black women, educational philosophies, and community service, 1865–1965" (2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3096273.