This appeared in an 1861 issue of The Christian Recorder. It is important to note that this publication was produced and sold primarily within African American society and this issue came out while it was still illegal in some places for black slaves in the south to be taught to read at all.
It is a great mistake in female education to keep a young lady’ s time and attention devoted to only the fashionable literature of the day. If you would qualify her for conversation you must give her something to talk about, give her education with the actual world and its transpiring events.
Urge her to read newspapers and become familiar with the present character and improvements of our race. History is of some importance, but the past world is dead, and we have little comparatively to do with it. Our thoughts and our concerns should be for the present world, to know what it is and improve its condition.
Let her have an intelligent conversation concerning the mental, political, and religious improvements of our time. Let the gilded annuals and poems on the centre table be kept a part of the time covered with journals. Let the family – men, women a children – read the newspapers.
Source: The Christian Recorder, May 4, 1861
Image Details: Group of women at a 1938 revival meeting, La Forge, Missouri (LOC)