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Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Heads versus Hands

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Heads versus Hands Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., September 13, 2012
1. Heads versus Hands Marker
Inscription.  
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. DuBois spoke out on this campus against training only the hands and not the minds of African American students.

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. DuBois
1906 Address to the Nation
delivered on the Storer College campus

[Background photo caption reads]
Despite the controversy, students continued to earn liberal arts degrees from the school until it closed in 1955.

[Inset photo captions read]
Storer students took industrial arts training
Heads versus Hands Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., September 13, 2012
2. Heads versus Hands Marker
Former Industrial Arts Building in background
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in carpentry, upholstering and caning in these classrooms.

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 AmericansEducation. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1905.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 39° 19.405′ N, 77° 44.489′ W. Marker has been damaged. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. The marker was adjacent to the NPS Interpretive Design Center, off Hartzog Drive south of Fillmore Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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 location. 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
Former Storer College Industrial Arts Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., September 13, 2012
3. Former Storer College Industrial Arts Building
line); That was the happiest time of my life. (about 400 feet away); A Land Divided (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Foundations of Freedom (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced with the linked marker which has slightly different content and formatting.
 
Also see . . .  Storer College. (Submitted on December 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 440 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Aug. 12, 2022