Whether you’re looking to read up on this topic before joining the conversation, or want some further reading afterward, here’s our recommended reading.
Colonial Williamsburg Resources
- Colonial Williamsburg’s Nicole Brown portrays Ann Wager, teacher at the Bray School for 14 years, as part of its Nation Builders program, which portrays real historic figures associated with 18th-century Williamsburg.
- Meet Ann Wager, CW YouTube video. Ann Wager made a living as the only teacher for the Bray School, educating enslaved and free Black children in Williamsburg for 14 years. Hear her answer questions about her experience.
- LIVE from History: Ann Wager, CW YouTube video. Join Ann Wager in 1765 as she explores the various ways women receive, provide, and utilize their education in Virginia.
- ‘This was the Bray School’ by Colonial Williamsburg’s Paul Aron explores the 18th-century school for Black children and the meaning of the education provided there.
- Being Uncomfortable in Character, a blog written by Colonial Williamsburg’s Nicole Brown that discusses the challenges of portraying Ann Wager.
- On A Mission by Nicole Trifone, formerly of Colonial Williamsburg, discusses Ann Wager’s purpose in teaching free and enslaved black students at the Bray School was grounded in religion.
- Williamsburg Bray School Initiative, this webpage contains links to news coverage and a video explaining the Bray School initiative.
- Redefining Family Resource Book contains information about education and the family on pp. 195-226.
Resources from other Cultural Institutions
- Wolfe, Brendan. Associates of Dr. Bray. Encyclopedia Virginia, February 20, 2017.
- Bly, Antonio T. Slave Literacy and Education in Virginia. Encyclopedia Virginia, June 24, 2019.
- Discovery of Schoolhouse for Black Children Now Offers a History Lesson. NPR.
- Colonial Schoolhouse Discovery is an Opportunity for U.S. Racial History Lesson. NPR, All Things Considered interview with Nicole Brown, March 3, 2021.
- Anderson, James D. Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.
- Bly, Antonio T. Breaking with Tradition: Slave Literacy in Early Virginia, 1680–1780. Ph.D. diss., College of William & Mary, 2006.
- Cornelius, Janet Duitsman. When I Can Read My Title Clear: Literacy, Slavery and Religion in the Antebellum South. Univ. of South Carolina Press: University of South Carolina Press, 1992.
- Gerbner, Katharine. Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World. Early American Studies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.
- Glasson, Travis. Mastering Christianity: Missionary Anglicanism and Slavery in the Atlantic World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Morgan, Philip D. Black Education in Williamsburg-James City County, 1619–1984. The Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools and The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1985.
- Oast, Jennifer. “Educating Eighteenth-Century Black Children: The Bray Schools.” M.A. Thesis, The College of William and Mary, 2000.
- Oast, Jennifer. Institutional Slavery: Slaveholding Churches, Schools, Colleges, and Businesses in Virginia, 1680-1860. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Rowe, Linda. A History of Black Education and Bruton Heights School, Williamsburg, Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 1997.
- Rowe, Linda. Women and Education in Eighteenth-Century Virginia, CW Interpreter, Summer 2002, pp. 23-28
- Van Horne, John C. “The Education of African Americans in Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia.” In The Good Education of Youth: World of Learning in the Age of Franklin, edited by John H. Pollack. Oak Knoll Press: University of Pennsylvanian Libraries, 2009.
- Van Horne, John C. and Associates of Dr. Bray (Organization). Religious Philanthropy and Colonial Slavery: The American Correspondence of the Associates of Dr. Bray, 1717-1777. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.