Thursday, March 24, 2005

2 Best Book in Texas History—BOTH IN EDUCATION

I am very pleased to announce two recent book awards by two dear friends and colleagues, Professors Amilcar Shabazz (University of Alabama) and Carlos K. Blanton (Texas A & M University) both of whom are also on this list. Professor Shabazz won the T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award for his book, "Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas" while Professor Blanton won the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize by the Texas State Historical Association for the best book on Texas. His book is titled, "The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981." My students did read the Blanton text this semester and found it to be engaging, informative and nuanced on the topic of bilingual education. I look forward to reading the Shabazz book. What’s particularly cool is that these awards seldom go to educational histories in great part because so few are written. And this year, we have two such texts! I hope that these books will spur greater interest in research on education in Texas and beyond. I’m so proud of you and so very happy for you and your families, as well! -Angela
The T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award honors original research and publication of material that preserves, records and recounts the prehistory and history of Texas. The program is named in honor of T. R. Fehrenbach, former Texas Historical Commission chair and Texas history author.

"Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas"
Amilcar Shabazz
As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), it is important to consider the historical struggles that led to this groundbreaking decision. Four years earlier in Texas, the Sweatt v. Painter decision allowed blacks access to the University of Texas's law school for the first time. Amilcar Shabazz shows that the development of black higher education in Texas--which has historically had one of the largest state college and university systems in the South--played a pivotal role in the challenge to Jim Crow education.

Shabazz begins with the creation of the Texas University Movement in the 1880s to lobby for equal access to the full range of graduate and professional education through a first-class university for African Americans. He traces the philosophical, legal, and grassroots components of the later campaign to open all Texas colleges and universities to black students, showing the complex range of strategies and the diversity of ideology and methodology on the part of black activists and intellectuals working to promote educational equality. Shabazz credits the efforts of blacks who fought for change by demanding better resources for segregated black colleges in the years before Brown, showing how crucial groundwork for nationwide desegregation was laid in the state of Texas.

You may purchase this text at or at UNC Press
Winner of the 2005 Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize awarded by the Texas State Historical Association for the best book on Texas

"The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981"
Carlos Kevin Blanton

Despite controversies over current educational practices, Texas boasts a rich and vibrant bilingual tradition—and not just for Spanish-English instruction, but for Czech, German, Polish, and Dutch as well. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Texas educational policymakers embraced, ignored,
rejected, outlawed, then once again embraced this tradition.

In The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981, Carlos Kevin Blanton traces the educational policies and their underlying rationales, from Stephen F. Austin's proposal in the 1830s to "Mexicanize" Anglo children by teaching them Spanish along with English and French, through the 1981 passage of the most encompassing bilingual education law in the state's history. Drawing on primary materials, Blanton presents the Texas experience in light of national trends and movements, such as Progressive Education, the Americanization Movement, and the Good Neighbor Movement.

By tracing the many changes that eventually led to the re-establishment of bilingual education in its modern form in the 1960s and the 1981 passage of a landmark state law, Blanton reconnects Texas with its bilingual past.

You may purchase this text at or at Tx A & M Press

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