White Scholar & Black Community

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....
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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. The essays range from an analysis of the work of black sociologists in the twentieth century to an examination of race relations at predominantly black colleges in the 1950s, to case studies of nonviolent direct action in which Meier participated during the early 1960s. Of particular interest is an account of his debate with Malcolm X at Morgan State College in 1962, in which Malcolm X made the case for black nationalism and Meier defended the integrationist position. Collected for the first time, these essays provide a novel perspective on the early years of the civil rights movement and on the experience of historically black colleges such as Tougaloo, Fisk, and Morgan State.
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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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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)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: "A Liberal and Proud of It." 3
Pt. I Teaching and Learning behind the Color Line 39
1 "The Racial Ancestry of the Mississippi College Negro" 41
2 "Tougaloo College Revisited" 52
3 "Race Relations at Negro Colleges" 62
4 "Black Sociologists in White America" 73
5 "Some Observations on the Negro Middle Class" 88
6 Comment on E. Franklin Frazier's Black Bourgeoisie 99
7 "History of the Negro Upper Class in Atlanta, Georgia, 1890-1958" 103
8 "The Successful Sit-Ins in a Border City: A Study in Social Causation" 117
9 "The Black Muslims" 127
10 "Case Study in Nonviolent Direct Action" 137
Pt. II The Civil Rights Movement: Analyses by a Participant 149
11 "The Revolution against the NAACP: A Critical Appraisal of Louis E. Lomax's The Negro Revolt" 151
12 "New Currents in the Civil Rights Movement" 161
13 "The Continuing Quest for Equality" 188
14 "Dynamics of Crisis and Unity in the Southern Movement" 195
15 "Who Are the 'True Believers'? - A Tentative Typology of the Motivations of Civil Rights Activists" 201
16 "On the Role of Martin Luther King" 212
Afterword 223
Index 229
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