A leading African American intellectual of the early twentieth century, Eugene Kinckle Jones (1885-1954) was instrumental in professionalizing black social work in America. In his role as executive secretary of the National Urban League, Jones ...
worked closely with social reformers who advocated on behalf of African Americans and against racial discrimination in the United States. Coinciding with the Great Migration of African Americans to northern urban centres, Jones's activities on behalf of the Urban League included campaigning for equal hiring practices, advocating for the inclusion of black workers in labour unions, and promoting the importance of vocational training and social work for members of the black community. Drawing on rich interviews with Jones's colleagues and associates, as well as recently opened family and Urban League papers, Felix L. Armfield freshly examines the growth of African American communities and the new roles played by social workers. In calling attention to the need for black social workers in the midst of the Great Migration, Jones and his colleagues sought to address problems stemming from race and class conflicts from within the community. This book blends the biography of a significant black leader with an in-depth discussion of the roles of black institutions and organizations to study the evolution of African American life immediately before the civil rights era.