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Franz Boas and W.E.B. Du Bois at Atlanta University, 1906

Rosemary Levy Zumwalt & William Shedrick Willis
cover of Franz Boas and W.E.B. Du Bois at Atlanta University
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society
Volume 98, Part 2

The papers of William Shedrick Willis (1921-1983), housed at the American Philosophical Society, include his drafts of the manuscript “Boas Goes to Atlanta.” They contain the fascinating story of Franz Boas’s visit to Atlanta Univ. in 1906, and more, because Willis intended the work to be a book on Boas’s work in black anthropology. Zumwalt focuses on what was to have been Willis’s first chapter, “Boas Goes to Atlanta.” She expands the sections on Boas’s trip to Atlanta, the time he spent on the campus of Atlanta Univ., the reaction to his talk by blacks and whites, and the conflict between W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. Zumwalt came to know him better as she read of his encounters with racism on a personal level and on institutional levels.