Cold War and Black Liberation: United States and White Rule by Thomas J. Noer

By Thomas J. Noer

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Under no condition should these responsibilities lead them astray from the agricultural world. In a letter dated August 9, 1851, and addressed to the minister, the governor of Martinique complained, “The taste for instruction is too strong and too widespread among newly freed persons. ”37 Rural schools and schools in the cities were not charged with the same mission. As they targeted black and brown students, rural schools generally tended to focus on some type of vocational training and prepared students poorly for any examination.

The first lay secondary institutions were established at the very beginning of the 1880s in Saint-Pierre, Martinique, and in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. After the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902 destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre, a new lycée opened in Fort-de-France, and in Guadeloupe a second lycée was established in 1930 in Basse-Terre. Despite the cost of secondary education, the student body grew steadily. In Martinique, as early as 1886, the lycée of Saint-Pierre had 254 students and 322 in 1885.

By the end of 1889, for instance, the governor of Guadeloupe proposed the creation of a colonial garden where students would receive training in agriculture. As parents threatened to remove their children, the Conseil Général, which had already granted funding for this project, was forced to backpedal. For parents, the school system was the key to social promotion, and they demanded that it remain so. indd 26 2/21/11 1:53 PM FROM THE SUGAR PLANTATION TO THE COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION 27 pushing students toward agriculture did not fade away.

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