Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories
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Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories : The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949

3.57 (14 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

Bloomfield Academy was founded in 1852 by the Chickasaw Nation in conjunction with missionaries. It remained open for nearly a century, offering Chickasaw girls one of the finest educations in the West. After being forcibly relocated to Indian Territory, the Chickasaws viewed education as instrumental to their survival in a rapidly changing world. Bloomfield became their way to prepare emerging generations of Chickasaw girls for new challenges and opportunities. Amanda J. Cobb became interested in Bloomfield Academy because of her grandmother, Ida Mae Pratt Cobb, an alumna from the 1920s. Drawing on letters, reports, interviews with students, and school programs, Cobb recounts the academy's success story. In stark contrast to the federally run off-reservation boarding schools in operation at the time, Bloomfield represents a rare instance of tribal control in education. For the Chickasaw Nation, Bloomfield-a tool of assimilation-became an important method of self-preservation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 10.41mm | 249g
  • Lincoln, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Illus., maps
  • 0803264674
  • 9780803264670

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Bloomfield Academy was founded in 1852 by the Chickasaw Nation in conjunction with missionaries. It remained open for nearly a century, offering Chickasaw girls one of the finest educations in the West, far better than the schooling for most white children in Indian Territory. Founded long before Carlisle, the federally run off-reservation boarding school in Pennsylvania, Bloomfield (renamed Carter Seminary in 1932) represented one of the rare instances in the nineteenth century of a Native community seizing control of its children's formal education. After being forcibly relocated to Indian Territory, the Chickasaws saw education as instrumental to their survival in a rapidly changing world. Bloomfield became their way to prepare emerging generations of Chickasaw girls for new challenges and opportunities. Many alumnae have said that their education at Bloomfield was largely a positive experience, speaking of their classmates as "family".

Amanda J. Cobb became interested in Bloomfield Academy because of her grandmother, Ida Mae Pratt Cobb, who attended the school in the 1920s. Drawing on letters, reports, interviews with students, and school programs, Cobb tells the story of Bloomfield and its students, showing the type of education that the Chickasaw students received, how Bloomfield's curriculum changed over time, and the elements that set the academy apart from most other schools attended by Native American children, even after it was taken over by the federal government. For the Chickasaw Nation, Bloomfield, a tool of assimilation, became in reality an important method of self-preservation.
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Review quote

"Deserves to be read and critiqued by historians, educators, and Chickasaw tribal members. This book reveals the undercurrents pulling at our sensibilities and our wishes for the future."-History of Education Quarterly * History of Education Quarterly * "Cobb has written a moving and informative book that opens a window on the experience of young Indian women. Theirs is a story that has not been told until now, and this book serves an important function by telling it."-Anthropology and Education Quarterly * Anthropology and Education Quarterly *
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About Amanda J. Cobb-Greetham

Amanda J. Cobb is an associate professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico and is the editor of American Indian Quarterly. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.
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Rating details

14 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 29% (4)
4 21% (3)
3 36% (5)
2 7% (1)
1 7% (1)
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