Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

Crothers, Glenn

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

K'Meyer, Tracy

Committee Member

K'Meyer, Tracy

Committee Member

Wallace, Sherri

Author's Keywords

industrial education; African American; education; Jim Crow; Kentucky; higher education


Under the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow, white politicians in Kentucky limited African American access to higher education. This practice resulted in a shortage of African American teachers and severely inhibited Black education across the state. Despite frequent criticism of the industrial model of education, African American educators in the region viewed the approach as an opportunity to gain white support for Black education. Two prominent educators, William J. Simmons and C.H. Parrish, gained the support of white elites and opened Eckstein Norton University in 1890. Their close association with prominent whites provided a degree of anonymity, enabling them to offer instruction in both industrial and traditional liberal arts subjects. In the face of personal tragedy, financial instability, and institutionalized discrimination, Eckstein Norton University educated many African Americans and improved the educational opportunities available to Black Kentuckians.