Episode 11

Black Man's Burden, Chapter 6


January 11th, 2024

28 mins 47 secs

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About this Episode

A reading of William Holtzclaw's autobiography, Black Man's Burden. Chapter 6. William Holtzclaw was the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, a "Little Tuskegee" in rural Utica, Mississippi. His book, the first published by an African American in Mississippi, recounts his journey in establishing the school.

In Chapter 6, William H. Holtzclaw faces skepticism and financial challenges in his endeavor to establish a school in Utica. The project struggles to secure land, encountering reluctance from landowners and a funding shortage that dampens enthusiasm and fosters doubts about Holtzclaw's intentions. Despite his role as president of an educational association and community organizer, accusations of fraud arise, leading to the appointment of a treasurer. The situation intensifies with the treasurer's resignation and a disturbance, highlighting growing mistrust. A turning point occurs with the election of a new treasurer, allowing Holtzclaw to secure a loan and revitalize community spirit. Tensions escalate as the intricate dynamics of the Baptist and Sanctified denominations play a central role in shaping the narrative of the region's first school for Black students. The intricate dynamics of these two denominations become central to the story, with the Baptist church, initially opposed to Holtzclaw's efforts, eventually undergoing a transformative moment, exemplified by a Baptist minister's dramatic change of heart.

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