In Search of the Talented Tenth
Howard University Public Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race, 1926-1970
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Missouri Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I have to thank for their support, encouragement, and generosity over the six years I have labored to complete this work. There are not enough pages to offer proper thanks, and if I omit anyone’s name, please chalk it up to my head and not my heart. First, I would like to thank God for sustaining me in good times and bad, as this project moved from stage ...
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At the center of this study is the formation of one prominent— perhaps the most active and influential—African American intellectual community, one that originated and operated in the era of racial segregation. From 1926 to 1970, Howard University in Washington, D.C., represented the center of black intellectual life, and its scholars...
1. Prelude to Community: Foundations of the Howard University Intellectual Community, 1890–1926
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The years from 1890 to 1929 saw the emergence of Howard University as the “Capstone of Negro Education,” although as author Walter Dyson notes, Howard held that designation only from 1904 onward. Jonathan Holloway suggests it is more than likely that Howard was the Capstone in name only, and it was not until the administration of...
2. Messiah and Leader: Mordecai Johnson and the Making of the Howard University Intellectual Community, 1926–1960
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In many ways, Mordecai Johnson’s reputation for sound character, good judgment, and strong belief in social justice preceded him, and it was this that made him seem attractive and well suited to become the first African American president in Howard’s history. Johnson had a great vision for what Howard could become. From the start, he envisioned ...
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3. Howard University Intellectuals and the Development of Community in Academia
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Prior studies of Howard University intellectuals have focused either on individuals or on small groups of three or so. These scholar activists are indeed interesting, when taken as individuals, but a collective examination, even if difficult, is useful in showing how Howard University became one of the preeminent intellectual communities of its...
4. Public Intellectuals and the Black Public Sphere at Howard
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The black public intellectual is not a recent phenomenon. A public intellectual is in many ways both a scholar and an activist, but a black public intellectual is an altogether different creation. Black intellectuals by their very nature either are forced or choose to be both scholars and activists, and they embrace a synthesis of the two, so ...
5. Bridging Theory and Practice: Africana Policy Studies and Black Studies Institutes
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Howard University functioned as a prototypical black studies institute. Howard public intellectuals contributed research in various areas of Negro, early Africana, and African studies, including the nascent field of Africana policy studies, developed by the group Michael Winston characterizes as “the policy research nucleus.” Their...
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On January 9, 2002, the Washington Post published an article by columnist Courtland Milloy entitled “D.C. Should Find Ways to Attract Black Scholars.” In this piece, Milloy spoke of the controversy involving several members of Harvard’s Dream Team, including renowned black studies professors Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates Jr., who were leaving for Princeton and other universities due to a heated...
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Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 25 illus, tables
Publication Year: 2010