Democracy, Race, and Justice The Speeches and Writings of Sadie T. M. Alexander Sadie T. M. Alexander, Nina Banks

Publication date:
10 Aug 2021
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
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The first book to bring together the key writings and speeches of civil rights activist Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexanderthe first Black American economist

In 1921, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander became the first Black American to gain a Ph.D. in economics. Unable to find employment as an economist because of discrimination, Alexander became a lawyer so that she could press for equal rights for African Americans. Although her historical significance has been relatively ignored, Alexander was a pioneering civil rights activist who used both the law and economic analysis to challenge racial inequities and deprivations. This volume—a recovery of Sadie Alexander’s economic thought—provides a comprehensive account of her thought‑provoking speeches and writings on the relationship between democracy, race, and justice. Nina Banks’s introductions bring fresh insight into the events and ideologies that underpinned Alexander’s outlook and activism. A brilliant intellectual, Alexander called for bold, redistributive policies that would ensure racial justice for Black Americans while also providing a foundation to safeguard democracy.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898-1989) was an attorney, economist, and civil rights activist. She was the first Black American to gain a Ph.D. in economics, in 1921. Nina Banks is associate professor of economics and an affiliated faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies and in Africana Studies at Bucknell University.