This work is the first full-length study to focus solely on W.E.B. DuBois' efforts to introduce Black Studies into the university curriculum. The book argues that Du Bois' Atlanta University studies constitute the earliest, most comprehensive examples of Black Studies in American higher education. Du Bois presented his plan for a Black Studies program to the land grant colleges and included a detailed syllabus and an outline for initiating the program. The presidents of the land grant colleges accepted his proposal on June 12, 1942; however, the plan they never fully implemented, and, ironically, when the controversy over Black Studies erupted during the 1960s, Du Bois' plan was seldom mentioned. Part 1 introduces Du Bois and discusses his personal life and experiences that contribute greatly to his ability to conceive and organize his early plans for the scientific study of Black Americans. Part 2 examines Du Bois' writings and activities that relate to Black Studies and include the Department of Labor Reports, The Philadelphia Negro and the Atlanta University Studies.
Part 3 examines the problems and issues that have confronted Black Studies in higher education, traces the historical development of this field of study and concludes with an annotated bibliography of Du Bois' contributions.