A Guide to the Study of the United States of America


E. Negroes

4436. Crum, Mason. Gullah; Negro life in the Carolina Sea Islands. Durham, N. C., Duke University Press, 1940. xv, 351 p. 40–34941 E185.93.S7C85

Bibliography: p. [345]–351.

Most of the titles in the present section are concerned with the interaction of Negro and white communities amid the increasing complexities of industrial civilization. This one differs in presenting the life of an isolated Negro community where, at the time of writing, relatively few changes had "taken place in their mode of living and their outlook upon life since Emancipation." These Sea Islands of South Carolina, from Georgetown to Port Royal Sound, are cut off from the coastal plain by a belt of wide swamps infested by the cottonmouth moccasin, and were little frequented from the fall of the slave regime at the end of 1861 until the construction of modern hard-surfaced roads. In 1940 the sea island Negroes were largely tenant farmers, raising cotton and corn on exhausted land, living in poverty and chronic debt, and on a diet of cornbread, molasses, and fatback. Their speech is the Gullah dialect, incomprehensible to the outsider, "perhaps the most peculiar of all American forms of speech." It is, nevertheless, almost wholly English, derived from the speech of indentured servants, with only a score of African words. The author has traced the Biblical lineage of the Gullah spirituals, in parallel passages which "show how deeply the slaves of the Carolina coast draw upon the dramatic episodes of the Old and New Testaments, and particularly the apocalyptic passages." The remainder of the book is a historical treatment of plantation days and the aftermath of Emancipation, with frequent quotations from source materials.

4437. Davie, Maurice R. Negroes in American society. New York, Whittlesey House, 1949. 542 p. 49–11574 E185.6.D3

"References" at end of chapters.

A textbook by a Yale professor of sociology which aims to give a factual, scientific analysis and is explicitly "eclectic in character"—i. e., is based on other sociological literature rather than on any personal experience or investigations of its author. This gives the book the relative advantage of being less exacerbated and hortatory in tone than many recent writings on the subject. Four historical chapters are followed by substantial analyses of the situation of the Negro in economic life, education, religion, family life, housing, crime, and suffrage. Interesting chapters on subjects not always so well covered in general works include "Negro Health and Vitality," "The Negro Question in Wartime," "Lynching and Race Riots," and "Race Mixture and Intermarriage." The controversies of the present and the recent past are reviewed in chapters on "Segregation and Discrimination," "The Doctrine of Racial Inferiority," "The Negro’s Reaction to His Status," and "The Future of the Negro." The author believes that the indirect approach to a change of attitudes on race relations is more effective than the direct one, and points out that "American Negroes now rate in education, health, economic status, and other measures of achievement far above the total population of all but a few very favored nations."

4438. Davis, Allison, Burleigh B. Gardner, and Mary R. Gardner. Deep South; a social anthropological study of caste and class. Directed by W[illiam] Lloyd Warner. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1941. xv, 558 p. tables. 41–23645 HN79.A2D3

An exploration of a Southern community’s organized system of sentiments and attitudes as expressed in the social practices of whites and Negroes and in the beliefs they hold about themselves and about each other. A white man and his wife and a Negro and his wife, all trained in social anthropology at Harvard, were sent to live for two years in an unnamed city of the deep South. Over half of its 10,000 inhabitants were Negroes, and the adjacent rural areas were over 80 percent Negro. They attempted to discover group attitudes less by formal interviews than by stimulating free discussions with members of both the white and Negro communities, as soon as these had come to accept the investigators as belonging to their own social groups. Southern society, they conclude, is rigorously divided into two racial castes; there are classes within each caste and cliques within each class. However, there is a relatively slight differentiation of class within the Negro caste, and both castes attempt to conceal their class feelings in deference to democratic and Christian dogmas. On occasion force and intimidation may be used to maintain caste divisions. Caste and class have changed and are changing through time, but remain recognized and observable systems. Over half the book is devoted to the relation of caste and class to the cottoneconomy of the area, and a long final chapter to their relation to the white monopoly of local government.

4439. Drake, St. Clair, and Horace R. Cayton. Black metropolis; a study of Negro life in a northern city. With an introd. by Richard Wright. New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1945. xxxiv, 809 p. maps, diagrs. 45–9257 F548.9.N3D68

"A list of selected books dealing with the American Negro": p. 793–796.

This thick volume originated in a series of projects financed by the Works Projects Administration and directed by Professors Cayton and William Lloyd Warner of the University of Chicago. They gradually broadened from a study of juvenile delinquency in Chicago’s South Side to that of "the description and analysis of the structure and organization of the Negro community, both internally, and in relation to the metropolis of which it is a part." The Negro ghetto was the Black Belt, a narrow tongue of land, seven miles in length and one and a half in width, in which, together with five smaller South-Side areas, 90 percent of Chicago’s 337,000 Negroes were solidly packed. This work sketches the historical development of the Belt, analyzes the nature of the "color-line" in this Northern city and the movements across it, and describes the "job ceiling" which kept Negroes from competing as individuals for any type of job for which they were qualified, and concentrated them in semiskilled and unskilled occupations. Part III describes the ways of life of "Bronzeville" in a variety of spheres and on three class levels. In conclusion the authors stress the contradiction between the principle of fixed status and that of free competition, which prevails elsewhere in American urban society, and describe the problem as essentially a moral one.

4440. Franklin, John Hope. From slavery to freedom; a history of American Negroes. 2d ed., rev. & enl. New York, Knopf, 1956. xv, 639, xlii p. 56–13200 E185.F825 1956

"Bibliographical notes": p. 605–639.

Professor Franklin’s volume, originally published in 1947, was at once recognized as the most successful of all attempts to tell the story of the American Negro in a single volume. In order to put his story in its proper perspective, the author has maintained "a continuous recognition of the main stream of American history and the relationship of the Negro to it," as well as "a discreet balance between recognizing the deeds of outstanding persons and depicting the fortunes of the great mass of Negroes." The close of the Civil War forms a halfway point in the volume. Negro beginnings are traced in chapters on "Early Negro States of Africa" and "The African Way of Life," and the introduction to America in chapters on "The Slave Trade" and the origins of the slave system in the Caribbean Islands. A chapter on "That Peculiar Institution" of the Old South is followed by one on the "Quasi-Free Negroes," North and South, of the years before 1860. "Losing the Peace" is the author’s description of the gradual overthrow of the Reconstruction settlement and the triumph of White Supremacy. Interesting chapters describe "A Harlem Renaissance" following World War I and the immense benefits which Negroes received from the New Deal. Separate chapters are devoted to the progress of the Negro in Latin America and in Canada. Rayford W. Logan’s The Negro in the United States, A Brief History (Princeton, Van Nostrand, 1957.191 p. An Anvil original, no. 19) is an inexpensive paper-back with only 14 pages on the years before 1865. However, it gives a concise outline of the Negro’s upward struggles since that year, together with 28 selected documents (p. 106–182) and a select bibliography (p. 183–185). Langston Hughes and Milton Meltzer, in A Pictorial History of the Negro in America (New York, Crown, 1956. 316 p.), present a very interesting and various body of illustrations, most of them contemporary with their subject matter, and provided with an adequate textual commentary.

4441. Frazier, Edward Franklin. The Negro family in the United States. Rev. and abridged ed. New York, Dryden Press, 1948. xviii, 374 p. (The Dryden Press sociology publications) 48–7000 E185.86.F74 1948

Professor Frazier describes this edition as a popular condensation, carried out by Mrs. Bonita Valien, of the first, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1939 (xxxii, 686 p.). Ernest W. Burgess, editor of the University of Chicago sociological series in which it appeared, described it as the most valuable contribution to the literature of the family since the publication, 20 years earlier, of Thomas and Znaniecki’s Polish Peasant in Europe and America (no. 4495). As he remarks, the transplantation of the Negro from Africa to America, the transition from slavery to freedom, and the migration from the plantation to the metropolis produced uniquely great and sudden dislocations in the family life of a people, and so exhibit "a social institution subjected to the severest stresses and strains of social change." The special value of the study lay in its combination of such precise statistics as could be obtained with a multitude of personal narratives collected by the author from Chicago and Harlem Negroes. Since the tables have disappeared and the documentary material has been considerably reduced in the abridgement, many students will prefer the original edition. The four successivephases of the Negro family in America are defined by the author as primarily matriarchal, patriarchal, unstable, and equalitarian, but these abstractions give only a faint idea of the richness of his materials.

4442. Frazier, Edward Franklin. The Negro in the United States. Rev. ed. New York, Macmillan, 1957. xxxiii, 769 p. maps, diagrs. tables. 57–5224 E185.F833 1957. Bibliography: p. 707–752.

A comprehensive sociological treatment of the Negro race in the United States, originally published in 1949. It approaches the subject historically and emphasizes "the emergence of the Negro as a minority group and his gradual integration into American life." The Negro is regarded, not as an atomized individual, but "as a part of an organized (or disorganized) social life which forms a more or less segregated segment of American society." Of the historical sections, Part 1 on the slave régime emphasizes the Negro’s role in the social organization of the plantation, in which role he was able to take over the culture of the whites. Part 2 dwells upon the racial conflict which developed during and following Reconstruction, eventuating in the establishment of a quasi-caste system. Part 3 analyzes "The Negro Community and Its Institutions" with respect to population, rural and urban communities, social and economic stratification, the family, the church, fraternal organizations, and business enterprise. Part 4, on "Intellectual Life and Leadership," describes educational institutions, the press and literature, social movements, and the Negro intelligentsia. Part 5 deals with "Problems of Adjustment,’’ including crime, delinquency, and race relations. In conclusion, Dr. Frazier examines the "Prospects for Integration of the Negro into American Society" and finds that they have been improved by all recent social changes. The permanence of these changes is guaranteed by the international situation, for upon America’s treatment of the Negro at home depends her "bid for the support of the colored majority in the world."

4443. Johnson, Charles S. Into the main stream, a survey of best practices in race relations in the South, by Charles S. Johnson and associates, Elizabeth L. Allen, Horace M. Bond, Margaret McCulloch [and] Alma Forrest Polk. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1947. xiv, 355 p. 47–30299 E185.61.J624

Dr. Johnson has been associated with Fisk University at Nashville since 1928 and its president since 1946. In this volume, however, he writes as Director of the Race Relations Division of the American Missionary Association, which conducted the survey upon which it is based. Seven hundred "responsible and informed" individuals in the South cooperated with the project, and Dr. Johnson credits "the main structure" of the volume to Miss McCulloch, who analyzed their contributions. The book is more general in scope than a strict interpretation of its subtitle would imply; the subject matter actually extends to the improving condition of the Southern Negro in most of the spheres of life: citizenship (including the use of the ballot and appointment to government service), employment, education (including college courses on the Negro or on race relations), the "moulding of attitudes" by a variety of media, public health, the churches, and the Y. M. and Y. W. C. A. In a number of sections the items of information follow no clear pattern of arrangement. In his Introduction Dr. Johnson points out the factors at present favorable to inter-racial harmony and concludes: "The totality of these incidents and programs undoubtedly suggests progress and a will to change, both of which have been accelerated by the war."

4444. Johnson, Charles S. Patterns of Negro segregation. New York, Harper, 1943. xxii, 332 p. 43–1802 E185.61.J625

Bibliographical footnotes.

"A study of social behavior in interracial contact situations in selected areas of the United States," for which a field staff of five conducted interviews in three counties of the rural South and five Southern cities, as well as in border and Northern cities. Part I is concerned with patterns of segregation and discrimination for, in the author’s opinion, "there can be no group segregation without discrimination," and "in equity any segregation that is not mutual or voluntary is discrimination." The patterns are described for residential areas, educational institutions, recreational facilities, law enforcement, relief and welfare, public buildings, transportation, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, stores, places of amusement, professional services, and, at greater length, for occupations and industries. An important chapter describes "The Racial Etiquette in Public Contacts and Personal Relations," while another on "The Ideology of the Color Line" is based upon statements by white persons most of whom justified segregation. Southern state legislation enforcing segregation is analyzed, as well as the civil rights laws of several Northern states aimed against discrimination. Part II is concerned with the "Behavioral Response" of Negroes to these patterns, the interview material being classified into "Acceptance," "Avoidance," and "Hostility and Aggression." Dr. Johnson thinks that urbanization and industrialization have been the principal agents in eroding the old customs, and that they will continue to operate in the same direction. Comer VannWoodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow (new and rev. ed. New York, Oxford University Press, 1957.183 p. A Galaxy book, GB6) originated in James W. Richard lectures delivered at the University of Virginia in 1954. It convincingly demonstates that most of the patterns described by Dr. Johnson did not, as is generally supposed, originate at the time the South regained its autonomy in the 1870’s, but nearly two decades later, as a weapon employed by the Bourbons to defeat the Populist movement of the 1890’s, and that they were initiated in the western states of the South, and only gradually spread to the Atlantic seaboard.

4445. Logan, Rayford W. The Negro in American life and thought: the nadir, 1877–1901. New York, Dial Press, 1954. 380 p. 54–6000 E185.61.L64

Professor Logan of Howard University assesses the status of the Negro and the opinion of the Northern press concerning the Negro between the Como XXX promise of 1877,which withdrew Federal troops from the South, and the assassination of President McKinley. President Hayes had not meant to abandon the poor colored people of the South, but the "honorable and influential Southern whites" dishonored their side of the bargain and nullified the Reconstruction amendments. The nadir was reached with President McKinley’s "callous disregard for the protection of the constitutional rights of Negroes." By 1900 "what is now called second-class citizenship was accepted by presidents, the Supreme Court, Congress, organized labor, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs—indeed by the vast majority of Americans, North and South, and by the ’leader’ of the Negro race [Booker T. Washington]." Yet from 1865 to 1900, as the author himself tells us, the Negro population doubled in numbers, increased in literacy from 18.6 percent to 55.5 percent, and began organizing its own banks (in 1888). The ideals of the Abolitionists and the Radical Republicans were obscured for the time being, but the record indicates slow and painful progress rather than any real nadir.

4446. Myrdal, Gunnar. An American dilemma; the Negro problem and modern democracy, by Gunnar Myrdal with the assistance of Richard Sterner and Arnold Rose. [9th ed.] New York, Harper, 1944. lix, 1483 p. 48–10226 E185.6.M95 1944. Bibliography: p. 1144–1180.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York was convinced by the late Newton D. Baker that it needed more and better organized knowledge of the American Negro of today before it could intelligently disburse its funds on his behalf. In 1938, therefore, it brought over an impartial Swedish social economist, Dr. Myrdal of the University of Stockholm and the Swedish Senate, as director of "a comprehensive study of the Negro in the United States, to be undertaken in a wholly objective and dispassionate way as a social phenomenon." Dr. Myrdal took much advice, and in 1939 engaged a staff of six, including Ralph J. Bunche and Dorothy S. Thomas, while some 70 other persons worked on special projects or as assistants to the principal investigators. In addition to the works by Johnson and Sterner listed in this section (nos. 4444 and 4448), two other of the resulting special studies were published by Harper: The Myth of the Negro Past, by Melville J. Herskovits (1941. xiv, 374 p.), and Characteristics of the American Negro, edited by Otto Klineberg (1944. 409 p.). The unpublished manuscripts of some 35 other studies were deposited in the Schomburgk Collection of the New York Public Library. The completion and publication of Dr. Myrdal’s overall report were considerably delayed by the war, but since its appearance it has been generally accepted as the principal authority in its field. Summary is impracticable, but the titles of the eleven parts into which the 1,024 pages of the main text are divided give an idea of its comprehensiveness and organization: "The Approach," "Race," "Population and Migration," "Economics," "Politics," "Justice," "Social Inequality," "Social Stratification," "Leadership and Concerted Action," "The Negro Community," and "An American Dilemma." Dr. Myrdal’s conclusion is that the progress of "social engineering" now permits the redemption of America’s greatest failure and the realization of America’s own innermost desire, the final integration of the Negro into modern democracy. The final quarter of the work consists of ten appendixes and over 250 pages of footnotes. Readers daunted by the massiveness of An American Dilemma may prefer the condensation prepared by one of Dr. Myrdal’s assistants, Arnold M. Rose: The Negro in America (New York, Harper, 1948. xvii, 325 p.).

4447. Reid, Ira De A. The Negro immigrant, his background, characteristics and social adjustment, 1899–1937. New York, Columbia University Press, 1939. 261 p. (Studies in history, economics and public law, edited by the Faculty of Political Science of Columbia University, no. 449) 390–19999 H31.C7, no. 449 JV6895.NH4R4 1939a

Bibliography: p. 253–258.

A model study of the acculturation problems of a group of erstwhile members of a majority who must become members of a minority and find a place within the Negro class structure. At the time of writing, the Negro immigrants in the United States,nearly all of Caribbean origin, numbered some 100,000 persons, 60 percent of whom lived in New York City. Dr. Reid based his report on personal histories, government documents, and his own observations as a participant in the group life of these immigrants in New York City. His evidence shows that the members of the group tend to resent relegation to a minority status and adopt radical views with respect to increasing Negro rights in the United States. Native Negroes usually regard them with hostility as foreign competitors for jobs, and dub them "monkey-chasers." There are careful expositions of the number, sources, and background of the Negro immigration, its population characteristics, and the degree, form, patterns, and trends of its interracial and intraracial adjustment. A separate chapter contains excerpts from life histories.

4448. Sterner, Richard M. E. The Negro’s share; a study of income, consumption, housing and public assistance [by] Richard Sterner in collaboration with Lenore A. Epstein, Ellen Winston, and others. New York, Harper, 1943. 433 p. incl. tables. 43–8019 E185.8.S8

One of the supplementary volumes in the study of the American Negro sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and planned by Dr. Myrdal (no. 4446). Dr. Sterner, a specialist on social questions in the service of the Swedish Government, came to the United States with Dr. Myrdal. The conditions reflected in this book are almost exclusively those of the 1930’s, before the full employment which was created by wartime conditions and has outlasted them. Part I, concerned with "Living Conditions," deals with the Negro’s flight from agriculture, his employment and unemployment, family incomes and expenditure, food consumption, and rural and urban housing. Part II, on "Social Welfare," endeavors to ascertain the Negro’s share in various forms of public assistance. Dr. Sterner does not facilitate the reader’s task by chapter summaries or general conclusions, and ordinarily one must go to his tables to discover the relative position of the Negro. Thus a sample group of Southern Negro nonrelief families had median income ranging from $445 to $870; white nonrelief families from the same areas ranged between $1,133 and $2,356. None of the Negro groups approached the "so-called maintenance level" of $1,261. An up-to-date survey, which would document the general improvement of the last 55 years, is much to be desired.

4449. Washington, Booker T. Up from slavery, an autobiography. With an introd. by Jonathan Daniels. London, Oxford University Press, 1945, 1901. 244 p. (The World’s classics, 499) 49–39047 E185.97.W3162

4450. Mathews, Basil J. Booker T. Washington, educator and interracial interpreter. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1948. xvii, 350 p. 48–8652 E185.97.W249

Washington (1856–1915), the son of a slave woman and a white father, was, from 1881 to his death, the first "Principal" of Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama, which he made into a leading Negro educational center. After early years as a laborer and handyman, his formal education began at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1872. Washington’s appointment to head the infant Tuskegee Institute was the pivot of his life since it enabled him to work for what he considered the most important goal of the newly freed Negroes: economic independence. Under Washington, Tuskegee became a training school where Negroes could learn practical agricultural and mechanical skills in a novel curriculum planned by him, with the students’ work contributing to the upkeep of the school as well as to their own development. Outside the Institute he founded a number of associations for Negro professional men and women and raised large amounts of money for the Institute and other organizations benefiting the Negro. With his Atlanta speech of 1895 he won world-wide recognition as the spokesman and leader of the American Negro. His advocacy of the evolutionary betterment of Negro status won for him both praise and criticism from Negroes and whites alike. Much of his last 15 years was spent in travel, delivering lectures and organizing interracial conferences, both here and abroad. Up from Slavery is a classic autobiography, but in concentrating upon certain aspects of its author’s career and message hardly tells the whole story, even down to its date of publication (1901). A fuller narrative is provided by Mr. Mathews’ admiring biography, and even by Samuel R. Spencer’s concise life in The Library of American Biography series: Booker T. Washington and the Negro’s Place in American Life (Boston, Little, Brown, 1955. 212 p.).

4451. Weaver, Robert C. The Negro ghetto. New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1948. xviii, 404 p. maps. 48–7373 E185.89.H6W4. Bibliography: p. 371–375.

The author confines his inquiries to the residential or spatial separation of the races in the North, which is the peculiar manifestation of Negro segregation in that part of the country. The concentration of migrated Negroes into segregated areas is of comparatively recent origin, a result of the generalhousing shortage during the depression of the 1930’s.

Mr. Weaver seeks to determine the economic and social patterns making for the solidification of Black Belt areas in Northern cities. Active opposition to the dispersal of Negroes in these cities, he shows, is led by building, real estate, and home-finance groups, and carried out by restrictive covenants and by inhospitable treatment and social ostracism on the part of white residents who fear an influx of Negroes into their neighborhoods. Mr. Weaver analyzes these fears, in which race prejudice and concern for property values are mingled, and appeals for the establishment of educational programs in interracial living and increases in the housing available to minorities. Much of the information is drawn from housing problems in Chicago.


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Chicago: "E. Negroes," A Guide to the Study of the United States of America in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.562-567 563–567. Original Sources, accessed October 1, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LHKKJG8WUDL2G6U.

MLA: . "E. Negroes." A Guide to the Study of the United States of America, in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.562-567, pp. 563–567. Original Sources. 1 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LHKKJG8WUDL2G6U.

Harvard: , 'E. Negroes' in A Guide to the Study of the United States of America. cited in , Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.562-567, pp.563–567. Original Sources, retrieved 1 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LHKKJG8WUDL2G6U.