"THE PREMIERE ARCHITECT OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE U.S.": FIRST EDITION OF NEGRO AMERICAN ARTISAN, 1913, A CORE WORK IN THE ATLANTA UNIVERSITY PUBLICATIONS SERIES DIRECTED AND PRIMARILY EDITED BY W.E.B. DU BOIS, VERY SCARCE IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
DU BOIS, W. E. Burghardt and DILL, Augustus Granville, eds. The Negro American Artisan. Report of a Social Study made by Atlanta University under the patronage of the Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund; with the Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, held at Atlanta University, on Monday, May 27th, 1912. Atlanta: Atlanta University Press, 1912 (i.e. 1913). Octavo, original printed gray self-wrappers; pp. 144. $1800.
First edition of a defining work in the influential series of conferences and publications directed by Du Bois, who created, at Atlanta University, the "first American school of sociology," this key work particularly asserting "Du Bois' theory of the talented tenth," developed in his 1903 essay that helped forge the Harlem Renaissance by arguing for Black education that encouraged "intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is," very scarce in original wrappers.
Du Bois was "one of the 20th century's intellectual heavyweights" (Levering Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois, 713, 4). On the night he quietly died, in exile in Ghana, 250,000 Americans were gathering at the Lincoln Memorial in the 1963 March on Washington. The next day, a deep silence fell over the crowd when Roy Wilkins announced the death of Du Bois, declaring "his was the voice calling you to gather here today in this cause." When Du Bois arrived in Georgia to join the Atlanta University faculty, not yet in his 30s, he was the first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard and had "completed a pioneering sociological investigation" in The Philadelphia Negro (1898). His years in Atlanta "were, by his own admission, decisive ones… that placed him on the frontier of social science scholarship" (Gatewood, W.E.B. Du Bois, 206-8). It was there that Du Bois created "the first American school of sociology." When, in 1910, he saw "that his presence on the faculty of Atlanta University negatively affected the school's philanthropic outreach efforts… [he] chose to resign from the faculty." Yet the fact that "nearly 30 conferences were held and 20 monographs published," primarily under his leadership, demonstrates how Du Bois and Atlanta University "pushed back against individual and institutional forces demanding that it conform to racist policies" (Wright, First American School of Sociology, 81-89).
"The premiere architect of the civil rights movement in the U.S." (Levering Lewis, 4), the scholarship and writings of Du Bois were "backed by a rare command of Black history and social complexity" (Oxford Companion, 239). This very scarce first edition of Negro American Artisan asserts that Black education must emphasize both "liberal arts and technical training." It affirms "Du Bois' theory of the talented tenth" by resolving that "an over-emphasis on one type of training, which had been technical education to this point, would leave Blacks ill prepared to face the dilemmas of the ever-growing American society that was becoming increasingly dependent upon mental rather than physical labor" (Wright, 62). This seminal work is also "one of his best in terms of methodology. From responses to comprehensive questionnaires sent to 1300 skilled laborers in the South, he developed a wide-angle socioeconomic photograph of labor and race relations at the turn of the century" (Levering Lewis, 159). First edition, first printing: No. 17 in the Atlanta University Publications series. Title page imprint: "1912"; "Copyright, 1913, by Atlanta University" on copyright page. With numerous graphs and charts. Partington 2344. Work, 497. Not in Blockson.
Interior pristine with barely visible edge-wear to rear wrapper. An exceptional copy in fine condition.