The Production of Black Ph.D.’s in Economics at Harvard University, 1905–1955

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Harvard University’s Economics Department produced some of the leading African American economists between World War I and the Korean War. This essay explores the factors that contributed to this accomplishment and documents the career trajectories of the six blacks who obtained the Doctorate in Economics from Harvard University during the period 1905–1955. The analysis reveals the pivotal roles of the Rosenwald Fund, Classical High Schools, Black Fraternal Organizations and former University of Minnesota Applied Economics Professor, John D. Black. A common outcome of the careers of these six pioneers was a commitment to black economic empowerment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-201
Number of pages35
JournalReview of Black Political Economy
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Black economists
  • Booker T. McGraw
  • Harvard University Ph.D. program in economics
  • Hastings Dudley Huggins
  • History of economic thought
  • John D. Black
  • John D. Black, University of Minnesota
  • Robert Weaver
  • Samuel Lloyd Myers, Sr
  • Samuel Z. Westerfield, Jr
  • William H. Dean, Jr


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