The Philadelphia Negro is Published

The Philadelphia Negro is a sociological study of the African American people of Philadelphia written by W.E.B. Du Bois.

Comissioned by the University of Pennsylvania and published in 1899 the work is one of the earliest examples of sociology as a statistically based social science. In conducting his research, Du Bois went house to house and conducted personal interviews with each individual head of household. Du Bois combined his data with census data to analyze the social and economic conditions of African Americans in Philadelphia.

In 1897 the promising young sociologist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) was given a temporary post as Assistant in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in order to conduct in-depth studies of the Negro community in Philadelphia. The product of those studies was the first great empirical book on the Negro in American society.

More than one hundred years after its original publication by the University of Pennsylvania Press, The Philadelphia Negro remains a classic work. It is the first, and perhaps still the finest, example of engaged sociological scholarship—the kind of work that, in contemplating social reality, helps to change it.