The American Negro Academy: Voice of the Talented Tenth

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9780807106990: The American Negro Academy: Voice of the Talented Tenth
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The first major black American learned society was founded on March 5, 1897, in Washington, D.C. This history of the American Negro Academy discusses in detail its leadership, activities, and legacy. W. E. B. Du Bois, William Crogman, and Francis J. Grimké, with the help of Alexander Crummell, the first president, established this society to promote intellectual activity and refute "the Aryan who attacks the Negro by malicious and false accusations." During its thirty-one years of existence (1897--1928), the ANA issued twenty-two Occasional Papers defending black claims to individual, social, and political equality; analyzing black institutional and community life; and discussing the ways Afro-Americans had shaped the history of this country. Until it was discontinued in 1928, the members met annually to present their papers; they also organized historical exhibits and established a small archive for books and other materials. Alfred A. Moss's book is the first scholarly history of any black learned society. He adds important information to what is known about developments in the black community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, relationships between blacks and whites, and the later organizational and intellectual activity of educated Afro-Americans. "The failures and successes of the academy make clear the many obstacles which confronted members of the black intelligentsia who, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sought to influence the world of ideas and the discussion of major social questions." During its existence, however, many in the group met W. E. B. Du Bois' original challenge that the "Talented Tenth" become an intellectual clearinghouse and strategy center for the race. "Perhaps," concludes Moss, "the real wonder in the history of the ANA is that the organization was able to exist as long as it did."

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9780807107829: American Negro Academy

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ISBN 10:  0807107824 ISBN 13:  9780807107829
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, 1981
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