BLACK STUDIES, AS A SOCIALLY ENGAGED FIELD of scholarly inquiry, is the progeny of centuries of research that seeks to redress long-standing misconceptions of Black inferiority, African heritage, and cultural significance. As early as the nineteenth century, groundbreaking volumes containing radical reinterpretations of Black history were published. These studies included George Washington Williams’s History of the Negro Race (1882), and History of the Colored Race in America (1887), by William T. Alexander. The esteemed historian, social critic, and political theorist W. E. B. Du Bois published The Philadelphia Negro (1899), and his highly influential The Souls of Black Folk first appeared in 1903. While director of the Atlanta University Conferences from 1897 to 1910, Du Bois produced more extensive analyses of Black culture. The early twentieth century witnessed the production of foundational scholarly studies: The Negro in the History of the United States (1905), by Harold M. Tarver; Benjamin Brawley’s A Short History of the American Negro (1913); The Negro from Africa to America (1924), by Willis D. Weatherford; and other landmark works from Du Bois, including Black Reconstruction in America (1935) and Black Folk, Then and Now (1939).1