Ronald E. Butchart is professor of history and education and affiliate faculty in the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia. A leading authority on the history of African American education, he is also author of Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1861-1876, which is now available in a new paperback edition.
Butchart’s book and the pathbreaking research that inspired it have earned awards including the 2011 Outstanding Book Award from the History of Education Society, the 2012 William A. Owens Award from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, and Honorable Mention for the 2011 Avery O. Craven Award, given by the Organization of American Historians.
The following video produced by the University of Georgia Research Foundation gives a wonderful introduction to Butchart and his research, about which they write:
Ron Butchart, professor and head of elementary and social studies education, is recognized nationally and internationally for his body of work on freedmen’s teachers in the South after the Civil War and on the history of black education in the U.S. He launched the Freedmen’s Teacher Project, which has identified more than 11,600 individual teachers of freed people between 1862 and 1876. Butchart has compiled these names and biographical information inside a database that is one of the largest individually constructed social history digital databases currently available. This data combined with Butchart’s critical analysis has provided historians with a much clearer picture of the freed people’s teachers, one that necessitates a revision of many previously held beliefs about the education of freed African Americans, the origins of Southern schooling and the history of race and American education.