Blacks At Harvard

Blacks At Harvard

by Werner Sollors, Caldwell Titcomb, Thomas A. Underwood, Randall Kennedy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

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history are scholarly overviews, poems, short stories, speeches, well-known memoirs by the famous, previously unpublished memoirs by the lesser known, newspaper accounts, letters, official papers of the university, and transcripts of debates.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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814779736
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
03/01/1993
Pages:
584
Sales rank:
1,127,415
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 9.00(d)

What People are saying about this

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >