A Clashing of the Soul: John Hope and the Dilemma of African American Leadership and Black Higher Education in the Early Twentieth Century

Overview

John Hope (1868-1936), the first African American president of Morehouse College and Atlanta University, was one of the most distinguished in the pantheon of early-twentieth-century black educators. Born of a mixed-race union in Augusta, Georgia, shortly after the Civil War, Hope had a lifelong commitment to black public and private education, adequate housing and health care, job opportunities, and civil rights that never wavered. Hope became to black college education what ...

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Overview

John Hope (1868-1936), the first African American president of Morehouse College and Atlanta University, was one of the most distinguished in the pantheon of early-twentieth-century black educators. Born of a mixed-race union in Augusta, Georgia, shortly after the Civil War, Hope had a lifelong commitment to black public and private education, adequate housing and health care, job opportunities, and civil rights that never wavered. Hope became to black college education what Booker T. Washington was to black industrial education.

Leroy Davis examines the conflict inherent in Hope's attempt to balance his joint roles as college president and national leader. Along with his good friend W. E. B. Du Bois, Hope was at the forefront of the radical faction of black leaders in the early twentieth century, but he found himself taking more moderate stances in order to obtain philanthropic funds for black higher education. The story of Hope's life illuminates many complexities that vexed African American leaders in a free but segregated society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The definitive account of Hope's life . . . As well as analyzing the era's educational and racial politics, Davis paints a rounded and convincing portrait of John Hope as a man, a husband, and a father. . . . This fine study convincingly demonstrates that John Hope was one of the most important southern black leaders between Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr."—Journal of American History

"A deeply researched, sensitive, and balanced account of the extraordinary career of an individual whose life was spent in combating the malignant consequences of racism. It is a first-class piece of historical scholarship."—Willard B. Gatewood, author of Black Americans and the White Man's Burden, 1898-1903

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820319872
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Leroy Davis is a professor of history at Emory University. He is the coeditor of The African Experience in Community Development: The Continuing Struggle in Africa and the Americas. He lives in Atlanta.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction
1 "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" 1
2 Identity 17
3 Worcester and Brown 39
4 The Return South: Nashville 67
5 The Return South: Atlanta 102
6 The Making of a "Militant" African American President in a Southern City 129
7 The Hope Presidency: The Crucial First Year 162
8 Continuity and Change after a Decade of Service 184
9 The War Years: 1917-1919 216
10 The "New Negro" and John Hope in the 1920s 255
11 "On Top of the Mountain" 297
Notes 339
Selected Bibliography 411
Index 427
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