With In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America, education historian Kabria Baumgartner illuminates the often unexamined or untold activism of African American women and girls who either sought educational access or were providers of educational opportunity. Baumgartner focuses on the roles of religion, race, and reform in the educational strivings of White and African American activists during this period. Additionally, she examines the role of gender in the lives of African American women and girls as seekers of knowledge or providers of educational fortitude.

Baumgartner begins her treatise with the oft-told story of Prudence Crandall and her ill-fated Canterbury Female Seminary in Connecticut, which fostered much contention in the local community once Crandall, a Quaker woman, decided to permit the entrance of African American girls. Whereas many know of this event, no one until Baumgartner had told the stories of those who actively sought to...

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