Eugene Kinckle Jones
About the BookA 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 centers in the early twentieth century, Jones's activities on behalf of the Urban League included campaigning for equal hiring practices, advocating for the inclusion of black workers in labor 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 roles of social workers concerned with acculturative processes, social change, and racial uplift. In calling attention to the need for black social workers in the midst of the Great Migration, Jones and his Urban League colleagues sought to address problems stemming from race and class conflicts from within the community. Bringing together new biographical elements of a significant black leader, as well as an in-depth discussion of the roles of black institutions and organizations, this book studies the evolution of African American life immediately before the civil rights era.