Princeton University Press is thrilled to announce the recent signing of Eddie R. Cole’s Black Ideas, a history of American higher education as told through the Black intellectuals who shaped it.
Peter Dougherty, acquisitions editor for the project, secured World rights, including audio, to the book by Cole, an award-winning scholar and educational historian.
This book examines Black people—professors, administrators, students—and their views about the purpose and aims of higher education across the past two centuries. This ambitious history prioritizes Black archives and repositories, Black newspapers, and oral histories to vividly illustrate how Black people have molded America’s higher education system.
In the process, it moves the contributions of Black people to the center of the narrative about American higher education by examining Black individuals who were motivated to expand higher education’s mission of addressing societal inequalities. Black Ideas traces Black people’s historical pursuit for social equality, beginning in a small schoolhouse in late eighteenth-century Vermont and culminating with their ideas that continue to shape American higher education.
Author Eddie R. Cole notes that “Black people have long understood and offered solutions to the most pressing issues facing American colleges and universities. Yet, for far too long, the intellectual and institutional contributions of Black people to American higher education have been ignored, overlooked, and discredited. This reframed history is essential to retelling the American narrative—and the retelling of higher education’s central role in the nation’s democracy and its oppression.”
Peter Dougherty, who acquired the project, shared the following:
“In Black Ideas, Eddie Cole promises not only to enrich the story of American higher education and those heroic Black figures who have shaped it, but to tell the story in a way that encompasses the interests of historians, educators, activists, and leaders alike. Black Ideas will be a once-in-a-generation book that will serve as the text of the discussion of race and higher education for years to come.”