Black Intellectuals and Black Society

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Pub Date 09 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 16 Oct 2024

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Description

This book presents the trailblazing political scientist Martin L. Kilson’s essays on leading Black intellectuals of the twentieth century. Kilson examines the ideas and careers of several key thinkers, placing their intellectual odysseys in the context of the dynamics that shaped the Black intelligentsia more broadly. He argues that the trajectory of twentieth-century Black intellectuals was determined by the interplay between formal ideas and Black egalitarian struggle.

Beginning with the tension between W. E. B. DuBois’s civil rights activism and Booker T. Washington’s accommodationism, Kilson explores the formation and evolution of Black intellectuals and activists across generations. Chapters consider Horace Mann Bond’s career in higher education, political scientist John Aubrey Davis’s transition from civil rights activist to federal policy technocrat, Ralph Bunche’s writings on European colonial rule in Africa, Harold Cruse’s classic polemic The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, E. Franklin Frazier’s analysis of the Black bourgeoisie, Adelaide M. Cromwell’s studies of the challenges facing elite Black women, and Ishmael Reed and Cornel West’s advocacy as public intellectuals amid a conservative turn. Offering timely and engaging insights into the lives and work of pivotal Black intellectuals and activists, this book sheds new light on the abiding questions and debates in Black political thought.


Martin L. Kilson (1931–2019) was Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government Emeritus at Harvard University. He wrote and edited several books, including Transformation of the African American Intelligentsia, 1880–2012 (2014) and A Black Intellectual’s Odyssey: From A Pennsylvania Milltown to the Ivy League (2021). He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a longtime member of the editorial board of Dissent.

Cornel West is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary.

This book presents the trailblazing political scientist Martin L. Kilson’s essays on leading Black intellectuals of the twentieth century. Kilson examines the ideas and careers of several key...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780231215657
PRICE $35.00 (USD)
PAGES 264

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