"ONE OF THE 20TH CENTURY'S INTELLECTUAL HEAVYWEIGHTS": RARE ASSOCIATION FIRST EDITION OF THE NEGRO CHURCH, 1903, VITAL IN THE ATLANTA UNIVERSITY SERIES DIRECTED AND EDITED BY W.E.B. DU BOIS, WITH OWNER SIGNATURE OF EMINENT BLACK SCHOLAR ADELAIDE M. CROMWELL
DU BOIS, W. E. Burghardt. The Negro Church. Report of a Social Study made under the direction of Atlanta University; together with the Proceedings of the Eighth Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, held at Atlanta University, May 26th, 1903. Atlanta: Atlanta University Press, 1903. Octavo, original printed gray self-wrappers respined; pp. 212. $2800.
First edition of a rare association copy of Du Bois' groundbreaking work on the Black Church, with owner signature of Adelaide M. Cromwell, influential scholar and granddaughter of renowned 19th-century Black historian John Wesley Cromwell, a peer of Du Bois, this 1903 work, published the same year as his famed "Talented Tenth" manifesto, key in affirming Du Bois' role in moving "the Atlantic University Studies to the frontier of social science research, virtually single-handedly."
The year Du Bois arrived in Atlanta in 1897 to begin his tenure at Atlanta University, he became director of the annual series of conferences and primary editor of the accompanying publications. Particularly "in both Negro Church (1903) and Negro Family (1908)… Du Bois would push the Atlantic University Studies to the frontier of American social science research, virtually single-handedly" (Levering Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois, 160). There and in his own early writings, "Du Bois created sociological and historical works of lasting significance… [that] set wholly new standards for the sociological study of Black Americans" (New York Times). In Atlanta, already "one of the 20th century's intellectual heavyweights," he stood in "the vanguard of social science scholarship in America," but remained ignored by the academy as the critically underfunded Atlanta University was routinely bypassed by white philanthropists (Levering Lewis, 713, 162).
It was in Atlanta that Du Bois created "the first American school of sociology" (Wright, First American School of Sociology, 80). Yet, in 1910, when he realized "his presence on the faculty of Atlanta University negatively affected the school's philanthropic outreach efforts… [he] chose to resign from the faculty." Du Bois increasingly "saw that 'the cure wasn't simply telling people the truth, it was inducing them to act on the truth.' It was not enough to determine truth scientifically; it had to be implemented politically." This became a cornerstone of his often tumultuous, always consequential life and career. Nearly five decades after leaving Atlanta, the news of his death, across the world in Ghana, caused the 250,000 Americans gathered at the 1963 March on Washington to grow suddenly silent—a "moment almost cinematic in its poignancy"—as Roy Wilkins declared: "his was the voice calling you to gather today in this cause" (Levering Lewis, 162, 2). First edition, first printing: Atlanta University Publications, No. 8; with numerous in-text charts and graphs. Partington 2332. Work, 408. Not in Blockson. With owner signature of Adelaide M. Cromwell tipped in from the library binding it was bound into at one time, this association copy belonged to the prominent Black historian and sociologist who followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, John Wesley Cromwell, a pioneering 19th-century lawyer, author and civil rights activist. Dr. Cromwell Hill, an influential scholar and activist, was a distinguished professor at Boston University and pivotal co-founder of its African Studies Program—only the second in the country. In addition to authoring major works on Black history, she also served as the first African American appointed Library Commissioner in Massachusetts.
Text very fresh, expert restoration to original wrappers.