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Blacks At Harvard

Overview

The history of blacks at Harvard mirrors, for better or for worse, the history of blacks in the United States. Harvard, too, has been indelibly scarred by slavery, exclusion, segregation, and other forms of racist oppression. At the same time, the nation's oldest university has also, at various times, stimulated, supported, or allowed itself to be influenced by the various reform movements that have dramatically changed the nature of race relations across the nation. The story of blacks at Harvard is thus ...

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Blacks at Harvard: A Documentary History of African-American Experience At Harvard and Radcliffe

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Overview

The history of blacks at Harvard mirrors, for better or for worse, the history of blacks in the United States. Harvard, too, has been indelibly scarred by slavery, exclusion, segregation, and other forms of racist oppression. At the same time, the nation's oldest university has also, at various times, stimulated, supported, or allowed itself to be influenced by the various reform movements that have dramatically changed the nature of race relations across the nation. The story of blacks at Harvard is thus inspiring but painful, instructive but ambiguous—a paradoxical episode in the most vexing controversy of American life: the "race question."

The first and only book on its subject, Blacks at Harvard is distinguished by the rich variety of its sources. Included in this documentary history are scholarly overviews, poems, short stories, speeches, well-known memoirs by the famous, previously unpublished memoirs by the lesser known, newspaper accounts, letters, official papers of the university, and transcripts of debates. Among Harvard's black alumni and alumnae are such illustrious figures as W.E.B. Du Bois, Monroe Trotter, and Alain Locke; Countee Cullen and Sterling Brown both received graduate degrees. The editors have collected here writings as diverse as those of Booker T. Washington, William Hastie, Malcolm X, and Muriel Snowden to convey the complex ways in which Harvard has affected the thinking of African Americans and the ways, in turn, in which African Americans have influenced the traditions of Harvard and Radcliffe.

Notable among the contributors are significant figures in African American letters: Phyllis Wheatley, William Melvin Kelley, Marita Bonner, James Alan McPherson and Andrea Lee. Equally prominent in the book are some of the nation's leading historians: Carter Woodson, Rayford Logan, John Hope Franklin, and Nathan I. Huggins. A vital sourcebook, Blacks at Harvard is certain to nourish scholarly inquiry into the social and intellectual history of African Americans at elite national institutions and serves as a telling metaphor of this nation's past.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Harvard has played a curiously central role in the American cultural imagination, a role that is fraught with ambiguity. In no part of our society is this more the case than in black America. This important book brings together for the first time two hundred years of reflection on the curious relation of black culture to Harvard, and Harvard's complex relation to black people. A fascinating collection, extraordinarily well-researched, an essential text for all who are interested in the history of African-Americans in higher education."

-Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814779736
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Pages: 588
  • Sales rank: 1,419,036
  • Product dimensions: 1.31 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Werner Sollors is Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature and Professor of Afro-American Studies and Chair of the History of American Civilization Program at Harvard University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature, Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader, and Multilingual America: Transnationalism, Ethnicity, and the Languages of American Literature, all available from NYU Press.

Caldwell Titcomb is Professor Emeritus of Music at Brandeis University and has for many years written widely on aspects of black culture.

Thomas Underwood received his Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.

Randall Kennedy is Professor at Harvard Law School and the editor of Reconstruction magazine.

Thomas Underwood received his Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.

Randall Kennedy is Professor at Harvard Law School and the editor of Reconstruction magazine.

Randall Kennedy is Professor at Harvard Law School and the editor of Reconstruction magazine.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Blacks and the Race Question at Harvard
The Black Presence at Harvard: An Overview 1
Phillis Wheatley 9
"To The University of Cambridge, in New-England" 10
A Forensic Dispute on the Legality of Enslaving the Africans, Held at the Public Commencement in Cambridge, New-England (Boston, 1773) 11
Martin R. Delany and the Harvard Medical School 19
Medical Intelligence 19
Petition 21
Pride, Prejudice, and Politics 22
The Slave Factory 32
Richard T. Greener: The First Black Harvard College Graduate 37
For Good Government & Urban Politics 37
The White Problem 42
Speech at the Harvard Club of New York 57
Clement G. Morgan 59
Harvard's Negro Orator 61
Class Day Oration 63
W.E.B. Du Bois 69
A Negro Student at Harvard at the End of the Nineteenth Century 72
W. Monroe Trotter 91
W. Monroe Trotter at Harvard 92
Negro Delegate Tells of His Work 95
William Monroe Trotter 97
Booker T. Washington 101
Last Words 102
Principal Washington at Harvard University, March 12, 1907 110
Extracts from an Address at Harvard University, February 4, 1914 111
William H. Ferris 113
Douglass as an Orator 113
Leslie Pinckney Hill 123
The Place of Religion in the Education of the Negro 124
To William James 128
Alain Locke 129
Two Letters from Harvard 130
Youth Speaks 136
Sterling Brown: The New Negro Folk-Poet 140
The Myth of the New Negro 148
Edward Smyth Jones 153
Harvard Square 154
Eva B. Dykes 159
Conclusion to The Negro in English Romantic Thought or A Study of Sympathy for the Oppressed 161
Preface to Readings from Negro Authors 165
Caroline Bond Day 169
Selections from A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States 170
The Pink Hat 177
Race Crossings in the United States 181
Marcus Garvey 189
A Note on Marcus Garvey at Harvard 189
The Harvard Dormitory Crisis (1921-23) 195
The New Negro on Campus 195
Colored Students at Harvard 203
Attacks Harvard on Negro Question 206
Negro Graduate Protests 209
Voices from Harvard's Own Negroes 211
Opinion 219
Charles W. Chesnutt to Roscoe Conkling Bruce 220
Charles W. Chesnutt and Harvard 222
No Racial Discrimination at Harvard 224
Negroes in the Freshman Halls 227
Marita O. Bonner 229
On Being Young - A Woman - And Colored 230
Sterling A. Brown 235
I Visit Wren's Nest 237
Southern Road 239
Countee Cullen 241
The Shroud of Color 242
Excerpt from The Medea of Euripides: A New Version 250
Ralph Bunche 255
The Virtue of Color-Blindness 256
William H. Hastie 261
The Black Mystique Pitfall 262
Rayford W. Logan 271
The Confessions of an Unwilling Nordic 271
Leadbelly 281
Kenneth B. Murdock to John A. Lomax 282
Negro Who Sung Way Out of Southern Prisons Wins Two Harvard Audiences 284
John Hope Franklin 287
A Life of Learning 289
Muriel Snowden 297
Right to Participate 298
Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard 301
Miss Radcliffe 301
Three Generations of a Black Radcliffe and Harvard Family 304
Harold R. Scott 311
Harvard and the Performing Arts: "How Long, O Lord . . . ?" 312
William Melvin Kelley 317
Black Power 318
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