Agents Wanted: Kelly Miller’s Book Marketing and the Challenge of American Negro Progress

Friday, January 8, 2016: 3:30 PM
Room 211 (Hilton Atlanta)
Joan L Bryant, Syracuse University
This paper explores the methods Kelly Miller adopted to distribute his publications at the dawn of the twentieth century.  The Howard University sociologist operated an enterprise of publishing for “the race” using a national network of agents and advertisements in Black-owned periodicals.  His efforts to broaden interest in Negro authorship promoted his work and identity as a “race man.”  The distribution of his books and pamphlets documenting Negro progress and questioning the logic of race highlight the complicated nexus of publishing, book selling, and race leadership in Jim Crow America.
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