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Race, Meritocracy, and the American Academy

That is the title of an essay by Dr. James Anderson on the integration of African American faculty in northern (non-HBCU) institutions in the 1940s.

Dr. Allison Davis was said to be the first African American to be granted tenure at a northern predominantly white university in 1943 (or 1941 according to other sources). Fred G. Wale, director of the Rosenwald Fund, conducted a campaign to place highly qualified African American scholars as full professors in northern institutions. Anderson discusses Wale’s correspondence with university presidents and their conflicting views on meritocracy (for it) and the integration of African American professors (against it).

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