Etched into America's consciousness is the United Negro College Fund's phrase "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." This book tells the story of the organization's efforts on behalf of black colleges against the backdrop of the cold war and the civil rights movement.
Founded during the post-World War II period as a successor to white philanthropic efforts, the UNCF nevertheless retained vestiges of outside control. In its early years, the organization was restrained in its critique of segregation and reluctant to lodge a challenge against institutional and cultural racism. Through cogent analysis of written and oral histories, archival documents, and the group's outreach and advertising campaigns, historian Marybeth Gasman examines the UNCF's struggle to create an identity apart from white benefactors and to evolve into a vehicle for black empowerment.
The first history of the UNCF, Envisioning Black Colleges draws attention to the significance of black colleges in higher education and the role they played in Americans' struggle for equality.
Marybeth Gasman is the Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the coauthor of Educating a Diverse Nation: Lessons from Minority Serving Institutions and The Morehouse Mystique: Becoming a Doctor at the Nation's Newest African American Medical School.
Foreword, by John R. ThelinAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Black Colleges and the Origins of the United Negro College Fund2. Bringing the Millionaires on Board3. Flirting with Social Equality4. A Stigma of Inferiority5. Responding to the Black Consciousness Movement6. Speaking Out on Behalf of Black Colleges7. "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste"ConclusionAppendixesA. Pittsburgh Courier Letter to Black College PresidentsB. Member Colleges, 1944 to PresentC. Executive Directors and Presidents, 1944 to PresentD. National Campaign Chairmen, 1944 to 1979E. Archives and Oral History CollectionsF. Oral History InterviewsNotesIndex