Encyclopedia of the Negro
Preparatory Volume with Reference Lists and Reports
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The publication of the Encyclopedia Africana in 1999 was only the most recent attempt to summarize our knowledge of African and African diaspora peoples. Famed social scientist W. E. B. Du Bois was involved in similar projects over half a century earlier. His prospectus for an Encyclopedia of the Negro, a document almost 200 pages long presented to the Phelps-Stokes Fund in 1946, outlined what he saw as the key issues and topics to be covered. This proposal is reproduced here, along with two sample entries Du Bois prepared for the project and an analytical introduction from Eugene Provenzo. The project, unfortunately, stalled and was never completed. As a guide to the ideas of America’s best known, most prolific thinker on race, this volume will be an essential reference.