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G. F. Richings
Evidences of Progress among Colored People
Philadelphia: G. S. Ferguson, 1902.


G. F. Richings' Evidences of Progress Among Colored People (1902) is an encyclopedic collection of information on African American educational institutions and the people involved with those institutions. Richings presents information on schools managed by whites as well as schools managed by African Americans. The book also demonstrates the important role various religious denominations have played in expanding educational opportunities for African Americans. In addition to the information about academic institutions, Richings presents sketches of successful African American individuals and institutions in the realms of business, law, journalism, health, and other professions. Evidences of Progress contains numerous photographs which accompany the hundreds of informational sketches.

Richings wrote this book, as he explained, for several reasons. With regard to his white audience, he wanted to counteract the mistaken belief that African Americans have not made progress since emancipation. For his African American audience, Richings hoped this book would "stimulate a greater interest in these institutions and thereby help to bring the race up to a higher educational and social level."

Andrew Leiter

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