A White Scholar and the Black Community, 1945-1965: Essays - download pdf or read online

By August Meier

To lecturers of African American historical past, August Meier is easily revered as a first-rank pupil and editor. yet few everyone is conscious of his formative studies within the twenty years following global battle II, as a white professor educating at black schools and as an activist within the civil rights flow. This quantity brings jointly 16 of his essays written among 1945 and 1965. Meier has additional a considerable creation, reflecting on these years and atmosphere the context during which the essays have been written. John H. Bracey Jr. contributes an afterword which speaks to the individuality of Meier's adventure between historians of African American reports.

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This is not the place for a detailed discussion of Fisk under Johnson, but Fisk did present a seeming paradox: a bright faculty with low morale. Evidently there was a price paid for this in high turnover among younger faculty who were initially attracted by Page 16 Fisk's reputation, standing, and cosmopolitan air. Johnson, the proud holder on an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, was a poor administrator, reluctant to delegate authority. Although he was away half the time on important duties connected with his various boards and committees, he insisted on making virtually all decisions, even on matters of detail.

So I began to work on the larger project. While Columbia at the time was hardly a department with much interest in interdisciplinary work (Richard Hofstader and David Donald being exceptions), there were helpful influences. From Jacques Barzun's course on nineteenth-century Western European thought I was made aware of how one could relate the ideas of leading intellectuals to the social conditions of their time. Although I never took the classes of the sociologist Robert K. Merton, I was greatly struck by the way he had addressed himself in Social Theory and Social Structure (1949) to the question of the relationship between the development of science and the religious and economic changes in seventeenth-century England.

Board of Education in 1954 and in the Montgomery bus boycott of 195556, was an exhilarating, if sometimes frustrating, experience. In the spring of 1956 Charles S. Johnson, peeved at a satirical piece I had written about Fisk for a student magazine, used the occasion of a structural change in faculty arrangements to fail to renew my contract. At Fisk, as at Tougaloo, a brush with an authoritarian college president put me out of a job. My departure from Fisk came at a time when my dissertation was still unfinished.

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


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