Philadelphia: [Times & News Publishing Company], 1938. First edition offprint. A Dissertation in Sociology presented to the faculty of the graduate school [University of Pennsylvania] in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Original tan printed wrappers printed on spine and front cover. Faint offsetting to wraps, but in all exceptionally clean and square. Internally clean and unmarked, containing 153 pages of research and charts by the first African American woman to be awarded a PhD in sociology. It is a work that does not appear in the modern auction record and is currently the only copy on the market.
Born into a family that valued the education of its daughters, Anna Johnson almost immediately became a trailblazer in academia. The first African American woman inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, she was also the fourth national president of Delta Sigma Theta, UPenn's first black sorority. On this foundation, and with an activist bent, she entered into the doctoral program in sociology. Her dissertation, Standards of Relief, she assessed the work of private relief giving agencies during the Depression, to see how her findings would "relate to the problems of health, child welfare, personality and behavior, and vocation" of "allowance families" in the community. Her assessment importantly discovers that while an adequate amount of financial resources are going to the physical care of in-need families, relief programs were falling woefully behind in providing emotional and mental health support. After a decade of fellowship work, Johnson earned her PhD; near the same time, she married Howard University chemistry professor Percy Julian and relocated with him to Oak Park, Illinois. There, in a wealthy, predominantly-white community, the Johnson-Julian family experienced a heinous hate crime: the fire-bombing of their home in 1950. Anna, who had been assisting in her husband's laboratory, embarked on a career of civic activism, co-founding the National Conference of Christians and Jews. An important African American and feminist landmark. Near Fine (Item #2922)