"Personal Adventures in Race Relations : We Need Atomic Understanding!"


"Personal Adventures in Race Relations" by Esther Popel Shaw (class of1919), Dickinson's first African American female graduate, was published in 1946. It addresses the sources of prejudice and racism, and she urges in her introduction that cooperation is necessary to overcome these detrimental assumptions regarding African Americans. "At a time when all our energies are needed to meet and solve together the crucial problems of the postwar period, we find a large element of the population torn by resentment, suspicion and hatred. The constant and soul-searing humiliation that is the outgrowth of the dangerously reactionary policies of prejudice and biracialism serves to undermine the faith of the Negro, and other minorities, in the very foundation of the demoncracy they are asked to defend....In an atomic age we need atomic understanding!" In addition to this cooperation and understanding, Popel Shaw also focuses on the responsibility of adults to teach their children the harms of prejudice by living their own lives by example.

Location of Document in Archives
Boyd Lee Spahr Papers, Box 1, Folder 13