Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1997 Issue »

    The African American Female Elite

    The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960

    Linda M. Perkins
    The Seven Sister colleges are well known for producing some of the nation's most successful women. At the turn of the century, they were recognized as the leading institutions for elite White women. In this article, Linda Perkins outlines the historical experiences of African American women attending the Seven Sister colleges from the institutions' founding to the civil rights era of the 1960s, a period during which approximately five hundred Black women graduated from these institutions. Through an exploration of university archives, alumni bulletins, and oral interviews with alumnae, Perkins shows that the Seven Sister colleges were not a monolithic entity: some admitted African American women as far back as the turn of the century, while others grudgingly, and only under great pressure, admitted them decades later. Perkins illustrates how the Seven Sister colleges mirrored the views of the larger society concerning race, and how issues of discrimination in admissions, housing, and financial aid in these institutions were influenced by, and had an influence on, the overall African American struggle for full participatory citizenship.

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    Winter 1997 Issue

    Abstracts

    Symposium
    The History of Women in Education
    Christine A. Woyshner, Bonnie Hao Kuo Tai
    Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers
    Kathleen Weiler
    Women and Education in Eritrea
    A Historical and Contemporary Analysis
    Asgedet Stefanos
    Reconsidering a Classic
    Assessing the History of Women's Higher Education a Dozen Years after Barbara Solomon
    Linda Eisenmann
    The African American Female Elite
    The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960
    Linda M. Perkins
    The Hidden Half
    A History of Native American Women's Education
    Deirdre A. Almeida
    Conflicted Progress
    Coeducation and Gender Equityin Twentieth-Century French School Reforms
    Marilyn Mavrinac
    The Road to College
    Hmong American Women's Pursuit of Higher Education
    Stacey J. Lee

    Book Notes

    We Can't Eat Prestige
    By John Hoerr

    The Seed Is Mine
    By Charles van Onselen

    The Essential Piaget
    Edited by Howard E. Gruber and J. Jacques Vonëche

    Journey With Children
    By Frances P. Lothrop Hawkins

    Guided Reading
    By Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

    One Child, Two Languages
    By Patton O. Tabors

    Taking Note
    By Brenda Miller Power

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