The Negro In Virginia. From 1619 to the Present Day
New York: Hastings House, 1940. First edition. Hardcover. Fine / Near Fine. Original light blue coarse cloth, lettered in dark blue. Octavo, xii, 380pp. Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Virginia. Sponsored by The Hampton Institute. "Historical Map of the Negro in Virginia" printed on both front and rear endpapers. One of the most important works to come from the Federal Writers' Project. It was estimated in 1936 that there were approximately 100,000 former slaves still alive. And it was with some real sense of urgency that members of the FWP began to gather their stories before they were lost to time. "This story of the Negro in Virginia, free from both the bitterness and prejudice and equally free of sentimentality and pretentiousness, is not only one of the most significant books to come from the whole work of the Federal Writers' Project. It is also, I think, one of the most valuable contributions yet made to the American Negro's history..." (Jonathan Daniels, The Saturday Review, 9/7/40. Jerry Mangione in his excellent The Dream and the Deal (pp.259-260) gives further background but in particular puts much of the credit to Roscoe E. Lewis, the Supervisor of Negro Workers and the main force behind this superb volume. The book is in excellent condition. The very rare jacket is bright and solid with some wear at the corners and the spine ends with one small chip at the foot of the spine and some rubbing at the top. Dykes, #358.
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