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

By August Meier

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

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Lewis. While in Washington I lived at Carver Hall (built by the government to house black men who came to Washington to work during the war and now owned by Howard, which still accepted many non-students as residents), and I took breakfast and lunch at the university. Here of course I came to know John Hope Franklin, whose house was always open; Sterling Brown; Alain Locke, who filled me with gossipy tidbits about the Harlem Renaissance period; Rayford W. Logan; E. Franklin Frazier; Inabel Burns Lindsay, the head of the school of social work; the anthropologist Mark Hanna Watkins; and Emmett Dorsey, the political scientist who later was the first Howard University faculty member to obtain a microfilm copy and read my dissertation.

I found my urgent plea, and threat of possible picketing if the matter were not settled by the next convention, received by members with responses that ranged from frosty to indignant. Wasn't there any compromise possible? I was asked. Then later at the business meeting Zinn was prepared to bring up the matter once again, but we were outmaneuvered first Page 22 by those who suggested that a Richmond hotel would be glad to serve all our members if permitted to do this "under the table," and then by a motion that in effect tabled the matter.

Finally there was "Little Willie" Adams, a reputed former numbers racketeer, whose money was alleged to be behind two of Baltimore's leading black businesses. He was considered a friend by the likes of Murphy and Jenkins and his wife played an active role in Democratic politics (reputedly she was one of those active in working for Lyndon Page 23 Johnson's compromise plan and against the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party at the 1964 convention). It was within this leadership context that the Morgan State College student movement functioned.

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