Negro Academy

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The American Negro Academy (ANA) was an organization that supported African-American scholarship. It was organized in Washington DC, in 1897.[1] The organization was the first in the United States dedicated to African-American scholars, and it operated from 1897 to 1928.[2]

Founders of the organization included Alexander Crummell, an Episcopal priest and staunch Republican from New York City;[3] John Wesley Cromwell; the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar; Walter B. Hayson, and Kelly Miller, a scientist. Presidents of the academy included W.E.B. Du Bois and Archibald H. Grimke (1903-1919).[4]

The organization was formed to provide an alternative to Booker T. Washington's approach to education and scholarship. Washington's Tuskegee University was based on what was called the Atlanta compromise. He emphasized vocational and industrial training for southern blacks, who lived mostly in rural areas,, and discouraged academic studies in the liberal arts.

The ANA was supported by African Americans who were opposed to the segregation and discrimination inherent in the Atlanta compromise. They continued to struggle for equal rights for blacks, including the right to higher academic education. Du Bois suggested that what he described as the Talented Tenth of African Americans had to be encouraged and highly educated, and that they could lead their fellows to progress.

See also[edit]



  • American Negro Academy Occasional Papers, Issues 1-22, Ayer Publishing, 1970
  • Moss, Alfred A., The American Negro Academy: Voice of the Talented Tenth, Louisiana State University Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0-8071-0699-0
  • Moses, Wilson Jeremiah, Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent, Oxford University Press, 1989, pp 365–366: reproduces the organization's bylaws.
  • Peress, Maurice, Dvořák to Duke Ellington: a conductor explores America's music and its African American Roots, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp 54–65.
  • Smith, Jessie Carney, and Wynn, Linda T., Freedom facts and firsts: 400 years of the African American civil rights experience, Visible Ink Press, 2009