Episode 9

Black Man's Burden, Chapter 5


December 28th, 2023

37 mins 47 secs

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About this Episode

A reading of William Holtzclaw's autobiography, Black Man's Burden. Chapter 5. 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.

Chapter 5 recounts William Holtzclaw's departure from Snow Hill, a place where he had formed strong friendships, particularly with Professor Edwards and his wife Susie. Despite the pleasant years spent there, witnessing Mr. Edwards' dedicated efforts to uplift a neglected community stimulated Holtzclaw's desire to work in an even more challenging environment. Leaving behind his ill wife, he embarked on a journey to Utica, Mississippi, facing financial challenges along the way. Holtzclaw's encounters with diverse individuals, from influential white planters to ordinary folk, provided insights into the complex attitudes towards Negro education in the Mississippi Delta. Despite initial skepticism and setbacks, Holtzclaw's determination to establish a school persisted, leading him to engage with both white and Black communities in Utica, where he eventually opened a public school while continuing to advocate for an independent institution.

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