Education as Resistance: The African School and New Guinea Community on Nantucket


In African American communities, education serves as a crucial tool used to resist racism and ensure the persistence of their culture and identity. In 1826 the African-American community of New Guinea followed this tradition with the establishment of the first public school on Nantucket. For the next two decades, the African school became the focus of an intense battle over school segregation on the island. While Nantucket’s popular history places the island at the forefront of the abolition and equal rights movements, historical archaeologists and the Museum of African American History have begun to complicate this narrative. A spatial analysis of the community and an investigation of the assemblages from the African School and adjacent Boston-Higginbotham House will highlight the importance of community formation and persistence for the people of New Guinea living within a society firmly rooted and invested in white dominance.

Cite this Record

Education as Resistance: The African School and New Guinea Community on Nantucket. Jennifer McCann, Victoria A Cacchione, Jared P Muehlbauer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441794)


Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 707