A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School

Aired: May 30, 2010
Filmmaker Dave Davidson and alumnus Dr. Art Symes discuss the history and significance of the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth, better known as the Bordentown School, the subject of the documentary film A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School. A unique educational institution that existed from 1886 to 1955, the Bordentown School’s history highlights the major issues that have faced African Americans since the end of slavery.

In this clip, acclaimed actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee describes the Bordentown School. Filmmaker Dave Davidson discusses Dee’s role in the documentary.

Around the turn of the 20th century Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois espoused differing theories on how African Americans should best be educated. Both of their theories shaped the Bordentown School, profoundly affecting its curriculum.

African Americans contended with segregation by creating separate worlds that allowed for the development of important social institutions. In this clip, Dr. Clement Price, Rutgers University-Newark, and Dr. Art Symes discuss how segregation shaped the African American community.

In 1955 American society changed “with all due speed” in response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Dave Davidson examines how the Brown decision intersected with New Jersey politics, led to the closing of the Bordentown School.


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