Books: Non-Fiction

The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools

Book – Non-fiction. By Vanessa Siddle Walker. 2018. This history tells the little-known story of how black educators in the South laid the groundwork for 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education and weathered its aftermath.

Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: African American, Education, Racism & Racial Identity

For two years an aging Dr. Horace Tate — a former teacher, principal, and state senator — told Emory University professor Vanessa Siddle Walker about his clandestine travels on unpaved roads under the cover of night, meeting with other educators and with Dr. King, Georgia politicians, and even U.S. presidents. Sometimes he and Walker spoke by phone, sometimes in his office, sometimes in his home; always Tate shared fascinating stories of the times leading up to and following Brown v. Board of Education.

After Tate’s death, Walker set to work to uncover the network of educators behind countless battles — in courtrooms, schools, and communities — for the education of black children. Until now, the story of how black Americans in the South won so much and subsequently fell so far has been incomplete. The Lost Education of Horace Tate offers insight into the southern struggle for human rights, revealing little-known accounts of leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, as well as hidden provocateurs like Horace Tate. [Description adapted from the publisher.]

ISBN: 978-1-62097-602-9 | Published by The New Press

Melinda D. Anderson interviewed Walker for The Atlantic in 2018.

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