A White Scholar and the Black Community, 1945-1965: Essays and Reflections

A White Scholar and the Black Community, 1945-1965: Essays and Reflections

by August Meier
     
 

To teachers of African American history, August Meier is well respected as a first-rank scholar and editor. But few people are aware of his formative experiences in the two decades following World War II, as a white professor teaching at black colleges and as an activist in the civil rights movement. This volume brings together sixteen of his essays written between

Overview

To teachers of African American history, August Meier is well respected as a first-rank scholar and editor. But few people are aware of his formative experiences in the two decades following World War II, as a white professor teaching at black colleges and as an activist in the civil rights movement. This volume brings together sixteen of his essays written between 1945 and 1965. Meier has added a substantial introduction, reflecting on those years and setting the context in which the essays were written. John H. Bracey Jr. contributes an afterword which speaks to the uniqueness of Meier's experience among historians of African American studies.

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

Louis R. Harlan

I found the essays penetrating and prescient, and they showed Meier's breadth, interdisciplinary grasp, and the depth that came from his experience as a white in the black world.

David Levering Lewis

Meier's introduction... is one of the most engaging personal statements by a scholar it has been my immense pleasure to read.... [It] is bound to whet the appetite of his readers to know much more about the intimate intellectual life of a major historian.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
During a time of integrationist hope, Meier had an unusual early career as a white professor at black colleges and as a participant in the civil rights movement. His lengthy, thoughtful autobiographical introduction recalls his rich but bitter-sweet experience, including his activist years as a student at Oberlin College and his first job at Mississippi's Tougaloo College, where he often socialized with blacks; his role in the Newark NAACP and his studies at Howard University in a period when black intellectuals were optimistic; and his being chosen in 1962 by students at black Morgan State College to debate a surprisingly cordial Malcolm X. While some of the 17 essays, spanning two decades, are dryly academic, they offer a worthy, time-capsule look at race relations in another era. Meier reflects on tensions between white and black colleagues at black colleges; he anatomizes the successful and peaceful department store restaurant sit-ins in Baltimore in 1960. In 1965, he cautiously assesses the paradoxes in the polities and leadership style of Martin Luther King, whom he terms a Conservative militant. Meier is now professor of history at Kent State University. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870238109
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
10/20/1992
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

University Professor of history at Kent State University, August Meier is author or editor of ten books, including Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 (1965), From Plantation to Ghetto (1976, with Elliott Rudwick), and Black History and the Historical Profession, 1915-1980 (1986, with Elliott Rudwick).

John H. Bracey Jr. is professor of Afro-American studies at teh University of Massachusetts Amherst.

University of Massachusetts Press

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