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Progressive Education, After-School Programs and their Impact on the Lives of African American Males: An Introduction

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 88, No. 4

Carter Julian Savage, Morehouse College W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University


This edition of the Peabody Journal of Education analyzes the historical and contemporary role of after-school programs in the development of African American males. In this introduction, the author places after-school programs within an historical context of progressivism, progressive education and social change in 19th-century America. As these new ideas of children and childhood were conceptualized, four significant social changes in America—industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and an “American reformation”—sparked the implementation of remedies for social ills within urban settings. This article suggests that the early 20th-century focus on after-school programs for African Americans were the results of lessons learned from early “remedies” targeting “new” immigrants. Moreover, the later desire to assist African American youth through these national and local youth development organizations was spurred by the rapid migration of African Americans to the urban northeast and Midwest during the first quarter of the 20th century. Moreover, the failed efforts of African Americans to acquire decent housing, the resulting crowding into segregated neighborhoods, and the deteriorating conditions of these urban, African American neighborhoods drew the attention of progressives, both African American and White, who were knowledgeable of and/or serving immigrant communities to provide similar services in urban, African American communities.


Carter Julian Savage, Ed.D., is the Instructional Designer for the Faculty Development Center at Morehouse College. Concurrently, Savage is an Associate at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. As an Instructional Designer, Savage provides leadership in the development, coordination and assessment of a comprehensive, instructional design program. As a researcher at Harvard, Savage's writing is primarily concerned with the history of African American education as well as the social context of education for African American males in contemporary, public schools. Savage has published several scholarly articles, book chapters, book reviews, and magazine articles on topics such as the history of African American education, the impact of African American teachers in segregated schools, the agency of African American communities surrounding segregated schools, the social context of education for contemporary, African American males, the theoretical framework of after school programs, and the development of after school, prevention programs. Dr. Carter Julian Savage holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and a master's in Public Policy (Program Development and Program Evaluation) from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; he is also a 3-year graduate from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics.