The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: An American Journey from Slavery to Scholarship (African American Life Series)

Overview

This illuminating autobiography traces Scarborough’s path out of slavery in Macon, Georgia, to a prolific scholarly career that culminated with his presidency of Wilberforce University. Despite the racism he met as he struggled to establish a place in higher education for African Americans, Scarborough was an exemplary scholar, particularly in the field of classical studies. He was the first African American member of the Modern Language Association, a forty-four-year member of the American Philological ...

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Overview

This illuminating autobiography traces Scarborough’s path out of slavery in Macon, Georgia, to a prolific scholarly career that culminated with his presidency of Wilberforce University. Despite the racism he met as he struggled to establish a place in higher education for African Americans, Scarborough was an exemplary scholar, particularly in the field of classical studies. He was the first African American member of the Modern Language Association, a forty-four-year member of the American Philological Association, and a true champion of higher education. Scarborough advocated the reading, writing, and teaching of liberal arts at a time when illiteracy was rampant due to slavery’s legacy, white supremacists were dismissing the intellectual capability of blacks, and Booker T. Washington was urging African Americans to focus on industrial skills and training.

The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough is a valuable historical record of the life and work of a pioneer who helped formalize the intellectual tradition of the black scholar. Michele Valerie Ronnick contextualizes Scarborough’s narrative through extensive notes and by exploring a wide variety of sources such as census records, church registries, period newspapers, and military and university records. This book is indispensable to anyone interested in the history of intellectual endeavor in America, Africana studies and classical studies, in particular, as well as those familiar with the associations and institutions that welcomed and valued Scarborough.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814332245
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Series: African American Life Series
  • Pages: 425
  • Sales rank: 1,507,380
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Valerie Ronnick is associate professor of Greek and Latin at Wayne State University.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    Very detailed autobiography

    Professor Scarborough was one of the most accomplished African American men of his time. The first four and the last two chapters, the last chapter written by his wife, are the most interesting. Throughout this text he takes the reader on a journey from his home in Macon, Ga., to parts of Europe and finally to his home near the college where he was President in Ohio. His expertise was in the field of philology and he was one of the first African Americans to be inducted in to a multitude of associations and organizations in this area of study.

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