The Negro -- Yesterday and Today
New York: Board of National Missions, [c. 1932].
New York: Board of National Missions, [c. 1932]. First edition. 10 page pamphlet in self wrappers, stapled. Measures 4 x 9 inches. Faint offsetting to front and rear wrappers; pencilled annotations to pages 2-3 and 5-6. In all, a clean and pleasing copy of this scarce pamphlet documenting the movement toward a more fair and equal economic state and increased interracial understanding in the U.S. Scarce on the market and in the trade, OCLC lists no known copies.
The daughter of notable professor and author Lewis Worthington Smith, Marjorie E. Wellborn Smith learned early on to value social justice. While little is known of her beyond her family's reputation, her work on the present pamphlet reveals a commitment to praising progress while urging white citizens to do more to improve conditions for black Americans in a time of disciminatory Jim Crow laws. In her introductory notes, Smith clarifies that African American education is an important topic far too large to cover in her pamphlet. Instead, drawing on the 1930 U.S. Department of Commerce census and the 1931 Negro Year Book, she records "the story of Negro progress after sixty four years," emphasizing increases in the number of schools allowing interracial access, the increases in homes owned by black Americans, and the number of businesses owned by or employing African American citizens. Moving ahead, Smith notes that the youth of America are leading the way, with college students on either side of the racial divide pushing to collaboration, united student groups pushing for cooperative change, and a greater number of opportunities for sharing experiences and learning a broader perception of others' experiences. "When members of two races come together on an equal basis to discuss their problems in an unbiased and candid way," Smith argues, "a new atmosphere is created which grows and spreads and is carried back into the most remote corners of the land to change conditions of life." Includes infographics and researched statistics on income levels and ownership.
Papers of Lewis Worthington Smith, University of Iowa Libraries. Near Fine (Item #2676)