Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the Twentieth Century explores the development of American social science by highlighting the contributions of those scholars who were both students and objects of a segregated society. The book asks how segregation has influenced, and continues to influence, the development of American social thought and social science scholarship.
Jonathan Scott Holloway and Ben Keppelpresent the work of twenty-eight black social scientists whose work was published between the rise of the Tuskegee model of higher education and the end of the Black Power Era. The intellectuals featured here produced scholarship that helped define the contours of the social sciences as they evolved over the course of the twentieth century. Theirs was the work of pioneers, now for the first time gathered in one anthology.
*Black Scholars on the Line is a wonderful contribution. As one who teaches black American intellectual history, I can attest to how useful it is to have these articles collected in one volume. Professors Holloway and Keppel are to be commended. They have chosen with intelligence and care, and their introductory essay situates their selections very helpfully. This book should do much to help recover for a new generation of scholars and students what was indeed the main trunk of black American intellectual discourse—and a primary domain of black Americans’ civic debate—through the segregation era.” —Adolph Reed Jr, University of Pennsylvania
“Jonathan Holloway and Ben Keppel have rendered a great service in bringing together the radiant social science scholarship of 20th-century African Americans. The 31 essays, deftly introduced, show the brilliance of under-appreciated black scholars who struggled to be heard across the color line.” —Gary B. Nash, professor emeritus, UCLA
“The 31 well-selected essays, ranging from 1898 to 1973, are an excellent introduction and guide to the world of the African American scholars who established their place in US academic and intellectual culture. The introductions provide contexts and bibliographies. This strong, valuable collection documents the issues and barriers met by the ‘Talented Tenth,’ who often lived behind the ‘Veil,’ and who used their minds to explain how ‘the color line continues to be drawn in the lives of millions of Americans.’ Highly recommended.” —Choice
“The editors’ excellent introductory essay focuses on social science as an expression of society, not simply as a detached commentary on it. In the US, institutionalized racism has been central to American society, and black scholars have always had to work both within and against its constraints. This is as true, the editors argue, of contemporary academics in Black Studies programs as it was for W.E.B. Du Bois at the beginning of the last century. . . . This volume will be particularly useful in courses on the history of American social science.” —Virginia Quarterly Review
“Thirty-one papers explore the development of American social science by highlighting the contributions of those scholars who were both students and objects of a segregated society.” —Journal of Economic Literature
"Logically organized, well contextualized, and insightfully theorized, Holloway and Keppel’s anthology enriches our knowledge of African American social scientists who operated during the era of segregation. In providing important primary documents that complement the numerous available biographies and studies of black scholars, this collection should be useful to any student of twentieth-century African American intellectual history." —The Journal of Southern History
Jonathan Scott Holloway is professor of African American studies and history at Yale University.
Ben Keppel is associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma.