White Scholar & Black Communit

August Meier, Author, John H. Bracey, Photographer
August Meier, Author, John H. Bracey, Photographer University of Massachusetts Press $24.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-87023-810-9
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Hardcover - 237 pages - 978-0-585-08390-2
Hardcover - 232 pages - 978-0-87023-809-3
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During a time of integrationist hope, Meier had an unusual early career as a white professor at black colleges and as a participant in the civil rights movement. His lengthy, thoughtful autobiographical introduction recalls his rich but bitter-sweet experience, including his activist years as a student at Oberlin College and his first job at Mississippi's Tougaloo College, where he often socialized with blacks; his role in the Newark NAACP and his studies at Howard University in a period when black intellectuals were optimistic; and his being chosen in 1962 by students at black Morgan State College to debate a surprisingly cordial Malcolm X. While some of the 17 essays, spanning two decades, are dryly academic, they offer a worthy, time-capsule look at race relations in another era. Meier reflects on tensions between white and black colleagues at black colleges; he anatomizes the successful and peaceful department store restaurant sit-ins in Baltimore in 1960. In 1965, he cautiously assesses the paradoxes in the polities and leadership style of Martin Luther King, whom he terms a Conservative militant. Meier is now professor of history at Kent State University. (Oct.)
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