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Berea College and Interracial Education: The First 150 Years: Conclusion

Essay by Andrew Baskin, Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and General Studies

Conclusion: Challenges

Berea College and Interracial Education: The First 150 Years - GSTR 210

Table of Contents

  1. Challenges

In the 2006 edition of “Being and Becoming: Berea College in the 21st Century, The Strategic Plan for Berea College,” the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) defined interracial education at Berea College as

the education of black and white people together for the benefit of their learning (both inside and outside the classroom), their understanding of one another, and the reconciliation of the breach in our lives caused by slavery, institutional racism, and the resulting personal prejudices found in both black and white communities. (71-72).94

The SPC was reaffirming that the intentional education of Blacks and Whites in a Christian environment is seminal for achieving racial conciliation and broader cultural diversity and continuing the work of the founders. Thus, 150 years later, the commitments of the founders of Berea College are still important.

However, there is a major change. Now, the challenge is to achieve the interracial commitment in a world and region that is more diverse ethnically, racially and religiously and calling for multicultural education. But, as to the first 150 years, to paraphrase an old cliché spoken on many Sundays in predominantly African American churches, from the perspective of this alumnus and faculty member, Berea College is not where it should be in terms of achieving the interracial commitment, but thank God, it is not where it was during the second and third stages of the College’s history!

Works Cited - conclusion

(Complete Works Cited List available)

94Berea College. “Being and Becoming in the 21st Century, The Strategic Plan for Berea College, revised.” Strategic Planning Committee, February, 2006.

PDF of the complete essay