Heads versus Hands
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
We want our children trained as intelligent human beings should be and we will fight for all time against any proposal to educate black boys and girls simply as servants and underlings, or simply for the use of other people. They have a right to know, to think, to aspire.
W.E.B. Du Bois
1906 Address to the Nation delivered on the Storer College campus
A national controversy regarding the education of African American students played out in the building before you. Throughout its history, Storer College faced great difficulty attracting funding. Most white benefactors favored trade school training for African American students. In order to attract better financial backing, Storer College opened this industrial arts building in 1905. The following year, W.E.B. Du Bois spoke out on this campus against training only the hands and not the minds of African American students.
Despite the controversy, students continued to earn liberal arts degrees from the school until it closed in 1955.
Students took industrial arts training in carpentry, upholstering,
Storer College struggled to find funding for liberal arts courses such as this chemistry class.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Education. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
Location. 39° 19.408′ N, 77° 44.501′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Fillmore Street and Hartzog Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 68 Mather Pl, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Heads versus Hands (a few steps from this marker); Foundations of Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephen Tyng Mather (within shouting distance of this marker); The Second Meeting of the Niagara Movement (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); That was the happiest time of my life. (about 400 feet away); A Land Divided
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker which had slightly different content.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 21, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 21, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.