Faith in Education at the Skidaway Island Benedictine Mission
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Faith in Education at the Skidaway Island Benedictine Mission

Title Details

Pages: 208

Illustrations: 5 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 10/15/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6721-7

List Price: $26.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/15/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6722-4

List Price: $26.95

eBook

Pub Date: 10/15/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6723-1

List Price: $26.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 10/15/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6720-0

List Price: $119.95

Faith in Education at the Skidaway Island Benedictine Mission

Examining the complexities of Catholic education for freed African Americans in the Deep South

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Having survived the turmoil of Reconstruction, several hundred African American tenant farmers were settled on Skidaway Island, Georgia, and led a fairly quiet existence. In 1877 Benedictine monks intruded into this relatively safe, if desperately poor, haven and built a Catholic mission and boys’ boarding school. For the next two decades, the Benedictines and locals negotiated for influence over the islanders’ religious convictions and education.

Faith in Education at the Skidaway Island Benedictine Mission brings together the recovered archaeological data and extensive Benedictine archives to reconstruct the intersecting lives of monks, students, lay brothers, and African American neighbors on Skidaway Island. Unlike a purely historical treatment, this book amplifies the documentary evidence with archaeological findings, including glass from arched church windows, writing slate and slate pencil fragments, a kerosene lamp, and harmonica fragments.

The narrative balances the chronological story of the Skidaway Island mission with the larger history of African American education in Savannah and Chatham County from 1865 to the mission’s closure circa 1900. Ultimately, Laura Seifert’s analysis shows how the roots of our educational system resulted in inequities today, particularly because racism is a prominent thread that connects past and present problems.

This work will make a significant contribution to the field as it will be one of only a handful of book-length studies that deals with the Georgia Lowcountry and specifically with Skidaway Island, Georgia. Laura Seifert's use of archaeology and public history in providing a glimpse into the history of this space will make it one of the most unique studies of Chatham County’s history in recent memory.

—Learotha Williams, coauthor of I'll Take You There: Exploring Nashville's Social Justice Sites

Faith in Education at the Skidaway Island Benedictine Mission is an impressive work in that it contains a wealth of information on how educational institutions began in the late-nineteenth century and transitioned throughout the twentieth century.

—April M. Beisaw, author of Taking Our Water for the City: The Archaeology of New York City's Watershed Communities

About the Author/Editor

LAURA SEIFERT earned her master’s degree at East Carolina University in 2006. She has traced local history from the Revolutionary War buried in Savannah’s parks to the industrial revolution at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum and personal, domestic histories at the Sorrel Weed House and the Kiah House. She spent seven years teaching at Armstrong State University and won a Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Award. She works in at Fort Pulaski National Monument and lives in Savannah, Georgia.