Negro and the "Solid South"


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Item#: 119679 price:$525.00

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WASHINGTON, Booker T. The Negro and the "Solid South." Being Comments on "The Basis of Ascendancy" by Edgar Gardner Murphy. Cheyney, Pennsylvania: Committee of Twelve for the Advancement of the Interests of the Negro Race, [1910]. Slim octavo, staple-bound as issued, original printed beige paper wrappers; pp. 12. $525.

First edition of this pamphlet promoting the idea of racial uplift in the South through a complimentary summary/analysis of white southerner Edgar Gardner Murphy's "The Basis of Ascendancy."

In this pamphlet, Booker T. Washington discusses Edgar Gardner Murphy's "The Basis of Ascendancy." Washington relates stories of his travels in the South and his encounters with young white men opposed to the treatment of Blacks in the southern states, holding up Edgar Gardner Murphy as an example of one such man. Murphy's theory was that white southerners were being socially, economically, and politically diminished by accepting the conditions facing southern Blacks. He argued that a "superior" race had a responsibility to encourage the advancement of "weaker" races through education and economic opportunity. In turn, the improved circumstances of all races would lead to southern whites improving their political power globally. Rather than focusing on Murphy's distasteful assumptions about race, Washington instead supports Murphy's overarching argument: namely, that an impoverished uneducated Black community was bad for all races and that the answer to the plight of Black southerners was education and occupational opportunity. This pamphlet falls very much in line with Washington's argument for racial uplift, one of many theories (sometimes competing and contradictory) that would underpin the civil rights movement.

Light wear and chipping to edges of pamphlet, expert repairs to wrappers at spine fold. Very good condition.

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