November 2, 1939
The annual conference of the Vassar Political Association, a long-standing student-faculty organization, addressed “The Place of the South in the Nation.” At the opening session, Walter White, secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, spoke on “The Negro in Southern and National Economy.”
The following day, Sterling Brown, poet and professor of English at Howard University gave two readings from his work, and Louise McLaren, director of the Southern Summer School for Workers, in Asheville, NC, led a panel discussion that included Gardner Jackson from Labor’s Non-Partisan League and Harriet Young ’34, regional secretary of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. In the evening, Wilson Gee, director of the University of Virginia Institute for Research in the Social Sciences spoke on Southern agricultural problems, especially as regarded cotton production, and the assistant to the chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Robert Sessions, spoke on the TVA and its programs.
On the conference’s final morning, Dr. Otto Klineberg from Columbia’s department of psychology addressed considerations of the Negro as a race, and after lunch Jack McMichael, chairman of the American Youth Congress, spoke on educational and vocational opportunities for young people in the South, and Hugh MacRae, a plantation owner and business man from Wilmington, NC, spoke about the Southern plantation and its future.
Dr. Gee concluded the conference with a summary of the several events. The New York Times