Publish W. E. B. Du Bois's 1900 Social Study "The Georgia Negro"
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At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the "American Negro Exhibit", housed in the Pavilion of Social Economy, attempted to represent the entire history, social progress, and present condition of Black Americans in an insultingly cramped corner space mounted with shelves and wing frames.
Notable among the many elements of the American Negro Exhibit were two social studies, contributed by the director of the fledgling sociology department at Atlanta University: W. E. B. Du Bois. In two cases of wing-frames, these were:
- "The Georgia Negro: A Social Study by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois"
- "A Series of Statistical Charts, Illustrating the Condition of the Descendants of Former African Slaves Now Resident in the United States. Prepared and executed by Negro students under the direction of Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, United States of America.”
These charts, drawn by hand in sharp black ink and primary watercolors, are currently held by the Library of Congress. In the Library of Congress Collection, the digital images representing the two sets of charts are mixed together, and interspersed within the inappropriately titled collection of "African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition". Thus The Georgia Negro, a social study complete with page numbers and a cover, which W. E. B. Du Bois completed shortly after his groundbreaking and highly graphical social study of The Philadelphia Negro, is dissembled in the Library of Congress collection, which otherwise makes no mention of its existence as cohesive text.
This petition urges the Library of Congress to update its digital and physical collections in respect to the existence and composition of The Georgia Negro. As scholars of W. E. B. Du Bois, Black History, Sociology, Art and Graphic Design, we also propose that a color facsimile of the The Georgia Negro, along with the other American Negro Exhibit charts, should be published for the very first time by the Library of Congress. This edition would be improved by an introduction by a scholar such as Alexander G. Weheliye, Earl Wright II, Aldon Morris, Phil Zuckerman, Theaster Gates, or Nahum Dimitri Chandler.
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