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The Lost Black ScholarResurrecting Allison Davis in American Social Thought$
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David A. Varel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534886

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534916.001.0001

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(p.215) Conclusion
The Lost Black Scholar

David A. Varel

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion begins by examining the public honors that Davis received late in his career and after he passed away. Notable among these were his election to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as the first scholar from the field of education, and his placement on a stamp by the United States Postal Service for Black History Month in 1994. The public response to Davis revealed the contradictions of a society that could simultaneously become more open racially and yet still fail to address the persistent race and class inequalities that Davis spent his life enumerating. Right up to the very end, in fact, Davis was writing and speaking out. Only a few months before he died, he published Leadership, Love, and Aggression (1983), which included psycho-biographies of Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Jr. Davis’s work makes clear that the only way to truly honor him is to try to live up to his ideas by working towards a more democratic and egalitarian society. The conclusion ends with a discussion of Davis’s present significance not only for the historiography, but also for understanding the world today.

Keywords:   American Academy of Arts and Sciences, United States Postal Service, Black History Month, race, class, Leadership, Love, and Aggression, Martin Luther King, Jr.

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