Introduction
in The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America
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This chapter focuses on four broad chronological periods of the study of black American history. The first era of scholarship in African American history lasted from 1882 down to 1909. The leading writers on black history in this period were African Americans. The second era of scholarship lasted from 1909 through to the mid-1930s. W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the leading figures of this period. The third era of African American scholarship lasted from the mid-1930s through to the end of the 1960s. In the late 1930s and early 1940s a new generation of black historians such as Benjamin Quarles and John Hope Franklin, began to take over academic leadership in African American history. The fourth era of scholarship in African American history dates from around 1970. The post-war Civil Rights Movement continued to have a profound influence on the development of African American historiography.

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