DOCTORAL STUDENT SELECTED BOGGS ACADEMY COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL AS HER DISSERTATION PROJECT
Dear Boggs Alumni, Former Faculty, Administrators and others associated with Boggs Academy,
My name is Caroline Whitcomb. I am a third-year doctoral student in the field of Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University. Early in my program of study, I came across the history of Boggs Academy and was profoundly moved. The story of Boggs offers a unique glimpse into an education radically different than that experienced by many African Americans in the South; an education worthy of examination historically and in light of our current educational practices.
Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of talking with hundreds of alumni and those associated with Boggs Academy. Researching Boggs has been the journey of a lifetime and I am forever grateful for this experience. I have loved my time at the past two BANAA reunions and am looking forward to seeing everyone in Savannah! Ultimately, my goal is to simply tell the story of Boggs Academy through the lens of those associated with the school and with the aid of historical documents and artifacts. I see this project as a fresh perspective on qualitative research, a joint venture and an example of participatory action research.
For those I have not yet met, I grew up and currently live in Augusta, Georgia. My father's family has lived in Burke County for generations. I attended Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia and received a BA in History with an emphasis on Southern United States History. I have a MAT in Early Childhood Education from Augusta University and will be All But Dissertation at Georgia Southern University this spring. I taught elementary school for fifteen years and am currently taking a year's sabbatical to focus on reading, writing, and publishing. I have two children, Mack and Ella Parker and a supportive family who have patiently endured my educational experience!
Your schoolmate, Ms. Glenda Farrell has guided me through much of the research process. She has been a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend. Ms. Farrell's time, energy and organizational skills have been a tremendous blessing. After years of service to BANAA, Ms. Farrell has rotated off the board. Ms. Delores Parks, current BANAA president, is continuing to oversee the dissertation process to its fruition. Lord willing, the dissertation and documentary will be complete and ready for a final defense in December 2020. The documentary and dissertation will be made public upon a successful defense.
I can not thank you enough for the time and support you all have given to this project. I am grateful for the many friendships which have resulted and am proud of what we have accomplished thus far. As I enter the writing and filming stage, I will continue to reach out for your assistance, advice, and support. I promise to do my best to honor the history and legacy of Boggs Academy. Finally, as we walk the stressful times of a pandemic, please know I am praying for you all and think of you often. Stay well.
Caroline Green Whitcomb
A few interesting pieces of research alumni might be interested in reviewing. I've posted them on Facebook before (for the most part) but consolidated them below. I will send more in the days to come. cw
This is the link for the 1937 film:
The Ebony Magazine Article:
A 1976 article in the New York Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/1976/11/24/archives/new-jersey-pages-in-rural-georgia-a-prep-boarding-school-for-blacks.html The status of Boggs Academy in 1915:
Mr. Charles W. Francis, Jr. Masters Thesis:
The Rise and Decline of the Program of Education for Black Presbyterians of the United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. 1865-1970 by Inez Moore Parker:
A Historical Study of Staff/Personnel and Financial Support of Boggs Academy 1906-1966 by Reverend Charles W. Francis, Jr.
A History of Burke County, Georgia 1777-1950 by Albert M. Hillhouse