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Quaker Brotherhood

Interracial Activism and the American Friends Service Committee, 1917-1950

Allan W. Austin

Publication Year: 2012

Quaker Brotherhood is the first extensive study of the American Friends Service Committee's interracial activism in the first half of the twentieth century, filling a major gap in scholarship on the Quakers' race relations work from the AFSC's founding in 1917 to the beginnings of the civil rights movement in the early 1950s. Allan W. Austin tracks the evolution of key AFSC projects, such as the Interracial Section and the American Interracial Peace Committee, that demonstrate the tentativeness of the Friends' activism in the 1920s, as well as efforts in the 1930s to make scholarly ideas and activist work more theologically relevant for Friends. Documenting the AFSC's efforts to help European and Japanese American refugees during World War II, Austin shows that by 1950 Quakers in the AFSC had honed a distinctly Friendly approach to interracial relations that combined scholarly understandings of race with their religious views._x000B__x000B_Highlighting the complicated and sometimes controversial connections between Quakers and race during this era, Austin uncovers important aspects of the history of Friends, pacifism, feminism, American religion, immigration, ethnicity, and the early roots of multiculturalism._x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-xi

A monograph is the product of many people, even when the book jacket reflects a single author, and I am hard pressed to thank appropriately the many who have played important roles in shaping this book. First, I must thank all of those at the University...

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Introduction: The Friendly Principle of Brotherhood

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pp. 1-17

Writing twenty years after the founding of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Quaker Rufus Jones recalled the uncertainty with which Friends went to work after the United States entered the Great War...

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1. “Let’s Do Away with Walls!”: The AFSC’s Interracial Section and Race Work in the United States, 1924-1929

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pp. 19-48

In the fall of 1924, a group of concerned Quakers met in Philadelphia to consider the future of the AFSC. They found the Service Committee at a crossroads as they debated whether to lay down the organization or expand its...

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2. Bridging Race and Peace: The AFSC in Good Times and Bad, 1927–1931

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pp. 49-80

In late 1929, poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson published a poem in a newsletter sponsored by the American Interracial Peace Committee (AIPC), on which she served as executive secretary. Although acknowledging a gloomy...

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3. “Intelligent Leadership in the Cause of Racial Brotherhood”: Quakers, Social Science, and the AFSC's Interracial Activism in the 1930s

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pp. 81-111

Recalling the earliest days of the AFSC, Rufus Jones observed that he and the organization’s founders, “conscious of a divine leading,” had gone to work “aware, even if only dimly, that we were ‘fellow-laborers with God’ in the rugged furrows...

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4. Refugees from Abroad and at Home: The Hostel Method and Victims of War

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pp. 112-143

In the aftermath of World War II and the sudden and unexpected catastrophes it wrought, Henry Cadbury answered a question about “the philosophy underlying [AFSC] service.” In his response, he argued that the question had the causal...

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5. From Race Relations to Community Relations

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pp. 144-176

When AFSC leaders met to discuss an uncertain future as world war transitioned into cold war, they agreed with Executive Secretary Clarence Pickett that the Service Committee remained “dedicated to building the Kingdom of God...

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Conclusion: Race and Reconciliation at Mid-Century

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pp. 177-195

AFSC leaders often grounded Service Committee activism in a Quaker legacy of racial justice. Mary Hoxie Jones emphasized these historical connections in her 1937 history of the organization, in which a fictional AFSC staff member uses...


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pp. 197-241


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pp. 243-248


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pp. 249-257

About the Author, Production Note, Back Cover

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pp. 259-274

E-ISBN-13: 9780252094156
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037047

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012