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In 1921 the Carnegie Coporation of New York made a grant to the Department of

Records and Research of the Tuskegee Institute which enabled the writer to begin

in a large way to compile "A Bibliography of the Negro."



A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America (1928)

Compiled By Monroe Work 

Director of Records and Research 

Tuskegee Normal and Industrial institute

(Sociologist 1866-1945)




he compiling of A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America is an effort to furnish extended and comprehensive references to sources of in-formation relating to all phases of the present day life of the Negro, to the conditions affecting this life and also to the anthropological and historical background of the same.

The compiling of this bibliography which has extended over a period of more than twenty years, has had an interesting development. Work on it was first begun in connection with a study of Africa, to assist in which references on the subject were collected.

In 1912 the writer issued the first edition of the Negro Year Book. One section of it, "A Select Bibliography of the Negro," contained 408 classified references. The amount of material in the bibliographical section in each subsequent edition of the Negro Year Book was increased and its scope widened.

There were, in the meantime, increasing demands from persons interested in the study of the Negro for more extended bibliographical materials on this subject than were found in the Negro Year Book. These demands indicated the need of issuing as a separate volume a more extended and comprehensive bibliography of references relating to the Negro than had hitherto been published.

In 1921 the Carnegie Coporation of New York made a grant to the Department of Records and Research of the Tuskegee Institute which enabled the writer to begin in a large way to compile "A Bibliography of the Negro." First of all a collection of the bibliographies that had been published on this subject was made. No one of them, it was found~ was at all extended or comprehensive. 

The Atlanta University Studies No.10, "A Select Bibliography of the Negro American," compiled in 1905, contained 1992 alphabetically arranged but unclassified references. The Library of Congress in 1906 issued a bibliography, "A Select List of References on the Negro Question." This contained 522 alphabetically arranged but unclassified references. Numerous other less important bibliographies were issued as appendices to books and articles on the Negro.

During the five years, 1921 to 1925, a collection of more than 30,000 references of all sorts on the Negro was made. From these a classified list of some 10,000 references was compiled for publication as "A Select Bibliography of the Negro in the United States." There was in this compilation a brief appendix of references on the Negro in Africa.

In the meantime interest in the bibliography became international It was suggested that its scope be widened. The result was that in the two years, 1926 and 1927, the original compilation was revised and enlarged three times. Over 7,000 additional references were added. The title was changed from "The Negro in the United States," to "The Negro in Africa and America."

The compiler, through the cooperation of the Phelps-Stokes Fund and the Tuskegee Institute, had the opportunity to spend some time in Europe consulting with individuals who were authorities on African languages and cultures and collecting references for the bibliography from the following libraries: The British Museum, London; Library of the Royal Colonial Institute, London; Library of the Colonial Office, London; Public Records Office, London;. Library of the. Colonial Institute, Brussels; Bibliotheque de la Societe' Beige de Missions Protestantes au Congo, Brussels; Library of the Colonial Institute, The Hague; Seminar for Oriental Languages (formerly Colonial Institute), Hamburg; Staatsbibliothek, Berlin; Universitatsbibliothek, Berlin; Museen fur Tierkunde und Volkerkunde, Dresden; Library Evangelical Missionary Society, Basel; Library of the League of Nations, Geneva; Bibliotheque de Ia Societe' des Missions Evangeliques, Paris; Bibliotheque du Ministere des Colonies, Paris; Bibliotheque Publique de l'Agence Generale des Colonies, Paris; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Grateful acknowledgement is herewith made: To the Tuskegee Institute for furnishing the opportunity and providing the facilities necessary for compiling a work of this magnitude; to Dr. Robert R. Moton, Principal, to Mr.R. R. Taylor, Vice-Principal and to other members of the faculty, for their advice and assistance; to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Phelps-Stokes Fund and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial for financial assistance; to Dr. Anson Phelps Stokes, President of the Pheips-Stokes Fund, for his interest and assistance in collecting materials, in the arrangement of the bibliography and the publishing of the same; to Dr. C. T. Loram, Commissioner of Native Affairs, Union of South Africa, for his suggestions relative to the scope of the bibliography and securing materials from European sources; to Mr. W. A. Slade, Chief Bibliographer of the Library of Congress, for examining the manuscript and making helpful suggestions relative to standard forms for reference entries, and other criticisms leading to improvement in the arrangement of the materials; to Dr. Erasmo Braga, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Branch of the Committee on Cooperation in Latin America and Congress-man Professor Basilio de Magalhaes, distinguished historian, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for their assistance in procuring references relating to the Negr6 in South America.

For examining the manuscript, supplying references and making helpful criticisms, the compiler acknowledges with gratitude his obligations to: Professor D. Westermann, Berlin, Director International Institute of African Languages and Cultures; Dr. Bernhard Struck, Dresden, Museen fur Tierkunde und Volkerkunde; Miss Alice Werner, London, The London School of Oriental Studies; Miss Georgina A. Gollock, London, International Council of Missions; Dr. Edwin W. Smith, London, British and Foreign Bible House.

Other persons to whom we wish to make acknowledgement and express appreciation for the help which they rendered in the compilation of this work, are: Miss Ruth Anna Fisher, London, Copyist; Mr. R. H. Simpson, London, Secretary, American University Union; Mr. Hanns Vischer, London, Secretary General, International Institute of African Languages and Cultures; Dr. John H. Oldham, London, Secretary, International Council of Missions; Miss B. D. Gibson, London, International Council of Missions; Dr. Henri Anet, Brussels, Directeur de Ia Societe' Belge de Missions Protestantes au Congo; Mr. Gaston D. Perier, Brussels, The Colonial Institute; Dr. Walter Simon, Berlin, Universitlitsbibliothek; Dr. Ernest Crous, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; Dr. Alfred Mans feld, Berlin, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Eingeborenenkunde; Reverend W. Oettli, Basel, Secretary for Africa of the Evangelical Mission of Basel; Dr. Henri Junod, Geneva, Swiss Romande Mission; Mr. Basil Mathews, Geneva, World's Alliance of Young Men's Christian Association; Mr. Finn T. B. Frus, Geneva, Secretary, Mandates Section League of Nations; Mr. Harold Grimshaw, Geneva, Head of the Mandate Department, International Labour Office, League of Nations; Professor Andre Siegfried, Paris, Ecole des Sciences Politiques; Dr. H. S. Krans, Paris, Secretary American University Union; M. Daniel Couve, Paris, Directeur de la Socie'te' des Missions Evangeliques de Paris; Mr. Alfred Zimmern, Paris, Deputy Director of the League of Nations Institute for Intellectual Cooperation; Professor Otto Dempwolff, Hamburg, Seminar fur Afrikanische und Sudseesprachen; Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, Director, and Mr. L. A. Roy, Office Secretary of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, New York; Dr. Charles H. Fahs, Director, and Miss Hollis W. Hering, Librarian, Missionary Research Library, New York; Mr. Charles S. Johnson, Editor of Opportunity, New York; Mr. Arthur A. Schomburg, Collector of Old and Rare Books on the Negro, New York; Mr. J. A. Rogers, Newspaper Correspondent, New York; Mr. Lester A. Walton, Theatrical Critic, New York; Mr. Thomas L. G. Oxley, Boston; and Professor Joseph S. Price, West Virginia Collegiate Institute.

Grateful acknowledgement is also made to: Mr. Ralph N. Davis; Miss Jessie W. Parkhurst; Miss Mayme V. Holmes; Miss Irene Jones and Miss Wilna Russell of the Department of Records and Research of the Tuskegee Institute for the faithful work rendered in the preparation of the bibliography.

Monroe W. Work


In 1904, Monroe Nathan Work (1866-1945) came to Tuskegee to teach and to establish the Department of Records and Research, which was to accumulate and analyze statistics and records of black Americans. Publisher and compiler of the Negro yearbook, he was born in Iredell County, North Carolina. He was educated at the Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago, from which he was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and Masters of Arts in sociology and psychology in 1903.

He began his educational career as professor of pedagogy and history at the Georgia State Industrial College in 1903. Work accepted in 1908 the position of director of the department of records and research at Tuskegee Institute. This position led to the biennial publication of the Negro Yearbook, which supplied factual materials needed by schools and libraries. As part of his research, Work produced the periodic Lynching Reports that included information on all lynchings, regardless of the race of the victim. There were eleven editions of The Negro Yearbook.

Through his research in Europe and America, Monroe Work obtained important data for his compilation in 1928 of the A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America.  This publication was the first effort of its kind. In one publication he presented the works or publications about Negroes in all parts of the world from ancient ties to 1928.

In 1928, he received the Harmon Award in Education for "scholarly research and educational publicity through periodic publication of the Negro Yearbook and the compilation of a Bibliography of the Negro." In 1942, the University of Chicago Alumni Association presented him with the Alumni Citation in recognition of his forty years of public service.

The Tuskegee Institute News Clippings File Collection is a major legacy of the eminent black sociologist, Dr Monroe Nathan Work, who was Director of the Tuskegee Institute Department of Records and Research from 1908 until his retirement in 1938, but who continued in the Department until his death in 1945. 


Hines, Linda Elizabeth Ott. "A Black Sociologist in a Time of Trouble: Monroe Nathan Work, 1866-1945." Master's thesis, Auburn University, 1972.

Moses, Sibyl E. "The Influence of Philanthropic Agencies on the Development of Monroe Nathan Work's Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America," Libraries & Culture 31 (Spring 1996): 326-41.

McMurry, Linda O. Recorder of the Black Experience: A Biography of Monroe Nathan Work. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1985.

Monroe. N. Work. "Catholic Negro Work." The Negro Yearbook, an Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1921-1922. The Negro Year Book Publishing Company: Tuskegee Institute, 1922.

Monroe. N. Work. "The Life of Charles B. Ray." Journal of Negro History IV (October 1919), pp. 361-371.

Monroe N. Work. Population: Population Each Census Year, 1790-1910 (white, Negro and all others). The Negro Yearbook, an Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1921-1922. The Negro Year Book Publishing Company: Tuskegee Institute, 1922.

posted 2 November 2007

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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The New Jim Crow

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The White Masters of the World

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files: Introduction: Bibliography of the Negro  Table of Contents:  Bibliography of the Negro  Preface: Bibliography of the Negro