symbol of independence, freedom, emancipation

"From the expression: Fawodhodie ene obre na enam.
Literal translation: "Independence comes with its responsibilities."
- from Cloth As Metaphor by G.F. Kojo Arthur


This website is the beginning of what will grow into a festschrift for St Clair Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festschrift. We are building this website in honor and respect for the great contributions of St Clair Drake. It is necessary to proclaim the tradition as it actually happened and not the fictional narratives promoted to confuse and sidetrack the next generation.

Specifically we want to focus on three of his many contributions:

  1. Research on the Black urban experience: First his research experience with Allison Davis in Natchez Mississippi (Deep South, 1941), and then his collaboration with Horace Cayton in Chicago Illinois (Black Metropolis, 1945), made him a leading scholar of the Black experience.
  2. The theory and practice of Pan-africanism: While being active as a scholar and activist in many parts of the world it is Drakes association with Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana that stands out as his most important contribution.
  3. Master teacher of scholarship and political engagement: He joined the Roosevelt University faculty the same year that Harold Washington enrolled, 1946. They were joined by Gus Savage, Oscar Brown Jr., Bennet Johnson, and Demsey Travis. His Roosevelt legacy includes James Foreman of SNCC, and John Bracey, Black historian. His Stanford legacy includes Ronald Bailey, Glen Jordan, Willie Baber, Faye Harrison, and Al Colon, among others.

I have a personal connection to St Clair Drake. As a Chicago born student at the University of Chicago, who had lived on the same street in the Francis Cabrini Projects in Chicago as Drake, I studied him as part of my intellectual journey. When in graduate school at the University of Chicago in the Department of Sociology I began teaching at Roosevelt as part of a great tradition and that meant I became a colleague with Drake and Lorenzo Turner among others. Later I reconnected with Drake through my association with Ron Bailey who after being a student of Drake at Stanford joined me in the African American Studies Program at Fisk University. Finally, we maintained a firm relationship with Drake though our work in Peoples College as is demonstrated by the two videos on this site.

In this website, there are many features that describe Drake’s life. There is an encyclopedia entry, an obituary, and most important of all a finding aid to his papers. There is also a photo gallery. In addition we have links to a number of his writings, although some of it is only the first page as it is contained in a proprietary website. We include links of events, institutions named after Drake, and a list of writings about Drake.

Please contact us to contribute your material to this site. Thanks.

Abdul Alkalimat