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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Steps to Higher Education



Steps to Higher Education
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.42

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    academic, equality, publicly, Thurgood, education, slavery, newly, wealthy, provided, president, founded, slave, accept, term, beginning, schools
     content words:    President Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War, Methodist Episcopal Church, Wilberforce University, William Wilberforce, United States, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Howard University, Charlotte Ray


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Steps to Higher Education
By Jane Runyon
  

1     President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Civil War ended in 1865. Both of these events were meant to bring freedom to slaves. Leaders of the country understood that it would take more to truly bring freedom and equality to blacks in America.
 
2     Education would be the key to achieving real freedom. Many slave owners had withheld education from the slaves. Publicly they stated that it was a waste of time to educate blacks. They said slaves didn't have the ability to learn like white people did. Privately, they were afraid. They were afraid to let slaves learn to read and write. The slaves might learn how to overthrow their owners. They would learn about freedom and want it for themselves.
 
3     The Methodist Episcopal Church decided to start its own university. The cries to abolish slavery had already begun. The church realized the need to set up schools to educate blacks. These blacks would have to educate other blacks when they won their freedom. In 1856, Wilberforce University was founded. The aim of the university was to create elementary teachers. These teachers would provide basic education to black children.

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