NASW Press
0 Items

Home    >    African American Leadership
African American Leadership
An Empowerment Tradition in Social Welfare History
Iris B. Carlton-LaNey, Editor
ISBN: 0-87101-317-7. 2001. Item #3177. 260 pages.

NASW Members
Save 10% (print edition): $25.19
Enter member number and discount code at checkout.

For far too long, the huge contribution of African Americans to the social work profession has been relegated to little more than a footnote. The truth is, these forward-thinking individuals enhanced the quality of life within and outside their communities for generations. Their stories have never been told. Until now.


Sixteen painstakingly researched chapters, written by social workers, highlight the distinct roles of African American social work pioneers from the 1890s through the 1940s. The book discusses the birth of social welfare activities, both informal and formal, and introduces founding members of organizations such as the National Urban League and the National Association of Colored Women. Written from a social work perspective and framed within a historical context, these profiles and their accompanying lessons help today’s practitioner make the connection to current issues.


Special Features



  • Accurate information about African American social work pioneers that fills a significant gap in social work literature

  • Elements of client and community empowerment techniques in each profile

  • Critical information about history of race, culture, and underserved communities

  • Examination of diversity and cultural sensitivity issues within today’s social work profession

Introduction and Overview

Iris B. Carlton-LaNey


Chapter 1: Victoria Earle Matthews: Residence and Reform

Cheryl Waites


Chapter 2: African Americans and Social Work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1900-1930

Tawana Ford Sabbath


Chapter 3: Birdye Henrietta Haynes: A Pioneer Settlement House Worker

Iris B. Carlton-LaNey


Chapter 4: Margaret Murray Washington: Organizer of Rural African American Women

Joyce G. Dickerson


Chapter 5: Marcus Garvey and Community Development via the UNIA

Aminifu Harvey and Iris B. Carlton-LaNey


Chapter 6: Ida B. Wells-Barnett: An Uncompromising Style

Tricia Bent-Goodley


Chapter 7: Lawrence A. Oxley: Defining State Public Welfare among African Americans

N. Yolanda Burwell


Chapter 8: George Edmund Haynes and Elizabeth Ross Haynes: Empowerment Practice among African American Social Welfare Pioneers

Iris B. Carlton-LaNey


Chapter 9: Janie Porter Barrett and the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls: Community Response to the Needs of African American Children

Wilma Peebles-Wilkins


Chapter 10: Eugene Kinckle Jones: A Statesman for the Times

Felix L. Armfield and Iris B. Carlton-LaNey


Chapter 11: Mary Church Terrell and Her Mission: Giving Decades of Quiet Service

Sharon Warren Cook


Chapter 12: Thyra J. Edwards: Internationalist Social Worker

Elmer P. Martin and Joanne M. Martin


Chapter 13: Sarah Collins Fernandis and Her Hidden Work

Huguette A. Curah


Chapter 14: E. Franklin Frazier and Social Work: Unity and Conflict

Susan Kerr Chandler


Chapter 15: Historic Development of African American Child Welfare Services

Vanessa G. Hodges


Chapter 16: Traditional Helping Roles of Older African American Woman: The Concept of Self-Help

Dorothy S. Ruiz

Iris B. Carlton-LaNey, PhD, is professor, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include aging in rural communities and African American social welfare history. Dr. Carlton-LaNey has co-edited two books, African American Community Practice Models: Historical and Contemporary Responses and Preserving and Strengthening Small Towns and Rural Communities. She has authored a monograph entitled Elderly Black Farm Women as Keepers of the Community and Culture and has served as guest editor for special issues of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare and the Journal of Community Practice. She has also served on the editorial boards of several journals and has published articles in Generations, Social Work, Social Service Review, Arete, the Journal of Community Practice, and the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.