The Common School and the Negro American. Report of a Social Study made by Atlanta University under the patronage of the Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund.

“It is certain that of Negro children 6 to 14 years of age not 50 per cent have a chance today to learn to read and write and cipher correctly”


One of a series of academic studies of African Americans published by Atlanta University and edited by African-American sociologist and academic, W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963), here assisted as editor by his student, Augustus Granville Dill (1882–1956).

Since 1897, Du Bois had been a professor of history and economics at that historically black school. Here he and co-editor Dill study black schools throughout the American South including the border states. They provide much data for school populations and enrollments, teacher salaries, attendance, budgets, etc.

Issues of illiteracy, enrollment, and the history of black common schools are examined. A section is then devoted to each state surveyed and the District of Columbia.

Of particular interest is a 12-page section on “Disenfranchisement and the Public School.” The authors identify eight restrictions affecting African American voting: 1. illiteracy; 2. a requirement to own property; 3. the poll tax; 4. having to be regularly employed; 5. army service as a qualifying requirement; 6. the requirement of a good reputation; 7. qualifying to vote if your ancestors voted; and 8. a requirement to understand the U.S. Constitution to the satisfaction of voting registration officials.


Description: The Common School and the Negro American. Report of a Social Study made by Atlanta University under the patronage of the Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund.

Atlanta, Georgia: The Atlanta University Press, 1911. [1–5], 6–140pp. First Edition. 8vo. Gray, stiff paper wrappers; stapled. Tables. Closed tear to upper wrapper; tail of spine briefly worn; lower wrapper chipped along fore-edge with a piece separated (laid in) at the upper corner and the lower corner inexpertly tape mended; otherwise, good.

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Price: $250.00