Uncompromising Activist: Richard Greener, First Black Graduate of Harvard College


Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 0.7 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Katherine Reynolds Chaddock is distinguished professor emerita of education at the University of South Carolina. She is the author of The Multi-Talented Mr. Erskine: Shaping Mass Culture through Great Books and Fine Music and Visions and Vanities: John Andrew Rice of Black Mountain College.


"The greatest strength in Chaddock's account is that it is driven by context. Although Uncompromising Activist focuses on the life of one man, it is a case study in how an individual's life is defined as much by temporal circumstance as by individual choice."

--History: Reviews of New Books

"Mrs. Chaddock does a fine job in the short space she has to examine Mr. Greener's life, accomplishments, and disappointments, something that he had to always struggle with. For bringing back to life a voice that has been lost and forgotten, this book does a good job."

--San Francisco Book Review

"Uncompromising Activist is a lively tale that will interest anyone curious about the human elements of the equal rights struggle."

--Mixed Race Studies

"Historians of education and of postbellum Black history will, of course, want to read this book. But so will many others. Chaddock deftly uses Greener's life as a window into each of the times and places in which he lived and into each of the debates in which he engaged. Uncompromising Activist thus would fit nicely into an undergraduate course on either African American or nineteenth-century U.S. history. Readers outside academia would find it a coherent and ample introduction to Black history after the Civil War--a surprising and rare accomplishment for a scholarly book, let alone a scholarly biography... Chaddock has written a fascinating account of a man and a world that helped shape our own and that deserve rediscovery."

--Michael David Cohen, University of Tennessee "Black Perspectives "

"An important addition to the growing corpus of African American biography, this slender volume resurrects to historical memory Richard Theodore Greener (1844-1922), a semi-obscure figure best known for being the first black graduate of Harvard College. Katherine Reynolds Chaddock, a distinguished professor emerita of education at the University of South Carolina, shows in this clear and straightforward narrative that Greener actually deserves recognition for several other important contributions to civil rights in the early Jim Crow era as well. Readers may even come away wondering why Greener is not placed alongside his more famous contemporaries Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W. E. B. Du Bois in the pantheon of great black leaders of his generation."

--T. Adams Upchurch, East Georgia State College "Journal of Southern History "