Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
In this superb reconstruction of the life of Rayford W. Logan, Kenneth Robert Janken, an assistant professor of African American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, draws on his protagonist's somewhat tormented life to document the veracity of John Hope Franklin's thesis that, "it was the American Negro scholar's dilemma to be obligated constantly to challenge the notion of black inferiority”. Put another way, despite Logan's credentials -- he held a Ph.D. from Harvard University in history; wrote twelve books, including the classic, The Betrayal of the Negro; edited several others, among them, What the Negro Wants; and penned hundreds of scholarly articles -- his racial identity negated all of his assets. For a person who believed that he was different from most other African Americans, the snubs of the white establishment were extremely disconcerting. "Yet time and again," Janken reminds us, Logan "sought its [white academia's] approval."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1995