A Utopian Experiment in Kentucky: Integration and Social Equality at Berea, 1866-1904

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1996 - History - 228 pages

A major social and educational experiment in race relations was conducted in Berea, Kentucky, from 1866 to 1904. During those years Berea contained a community, school, and church which were all fully integrated: white people, mostly from the Kentucky Appalachian region, and black people, former slaves and their children, from the Blue Grass country, lived, worked, and studied together in an atmosphere designed to foster social equality. Sears demonstrates that integration and social equality among the races are not unrealizable ideals; at Berea in the second half of the 19th century these ideals were lived out in practical terms. The Berea project was killed by state and federal legislation, not by being intrinsically unworkable.

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Soldiers and Refugees
White Workers and Administrators
Social Equality and Caste

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About the author (1996)

RICHARD SEARS, Professor of English at Berea College in Kentucky, is the author of several books and articles dealing with the unique history of Berea, including the recent Kentucky Abolitionists in the Midst of Slavery and a well-known work of local history, Madison County: 200 Years in Retrospect. He also wrote the script for a public television production called Once Upon a Vision: The Story of Berea, 1854-1904, which was narrated by Alex Haley.

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