Teachers College Hosts Historic Reunion of Harlem's Pioneering "Modern School"

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"The Modern School" Photo: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


Educating Harlem, a project of Teachers College, Columbia University, to Host “Education and Class in Harlem: A Historic Overview of The Modern School”

Pioneer of Progressive Education in Harlem and one of the few Secular, Independent Schools in New York Serving Black Children

Event, Cosponsored with Barnard College’s Harlem Semester and While We’re Still Here, to focus on the independent private school that operated in Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood from the 1930s through the 1990s, including oral history interviews and gathering of archive materials.

Alumni of "The Modern School," a renowned private school that operated in Harlem’s Sugar Hill district from 1934 to 1999, will gather for “Education and Class in Harlem:  A Historic Overview of The Modern School,” a historic reunion and celebration of their storied, progressive alma mater, featuring a panel discussion from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Friday, April 21 at Teachers College, Columbia University, Room 138 Horace Mann, 525 West 120th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan.

The panel, “Private Education and Black Harlem: A Retrospective Discussion (1934-1999),” consists of moderator Victoria Horsford and discussants:

Melanie Edwards, daughter of the Modern School’s founder, Mildred Johnson Edwards and granddaughter of J. Rosamond Johnson, composer of “Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing”

Deidre Bennett Flowers, Ph.D, alumna and Teachers College doctoral candidate

Robert North, D.D.S., alumnus

Daniel Perlstein, Ph.D., educational historian and associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley

Bruce Addington Williams, Jr., M.S., M.A., OTR/L, alumnus

Led by project co-director, Ansley Erikson, Ph.D., the event provides opportunities for The Modern School alumni to record oral histories for the Educating Harlem Digital Collection, a project of the Institute for Urban Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College dedicated to digitizing sources and materials related to Harlem’s educational history. Alumni of The Modern School have been encouraged to bring and donate archival material to be digitized and added to the Educating Harlem Digital Collection at Teachers College.

The event is cosponsored by Educating Harlem, the Harlem Semester project at Barnard College, and While We Are Still Here, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem.

The event is free to attend and for more information, contact Patricia Lamiell at 212-678-3979 or [email protected]

WHAT: Education and Class in Harlem:  A Historic Overview of The Modern School,” A panel discussion and oral history and archive gathering with The Modern School Alumni; Educating Harlem Digital Collection; Teachers College, Columbia University; The Harlem Semester, Barnard College; And While We Are Still Here.

DATE: Friday, April 21, 2017

TIME: 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Welcome and Panel Discussion)

PLACE: Teachers College, Columbia University, 138 Horace Mann
525 West 120th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan



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