W. D. Weatherford, Sr., (1875-1970) was a pioneer in encouraging attention to the problems of African-American and Appalachian Southerners and in promoting their integration into Southern society. He had the kind of impact that encouraged Wilma Dykeman, the Tennessee State Historian at the time, to write a biography of him and then for Andrew McNeill Canady to write another biography of Willis Weatherford, Sr. The annual awards for outstanding regional books, given by the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College, are named for him! He founded the Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, which was the first place I ever interacted socially as an equal with African-Americans - in the 1950s - and the first place I ever danced with an African-American woman. Almost no where else in the South could that have taken place at the time. From 1902 until 1919 Weatherford was a campus traveler for the YMCA, encouraging thorough integration of foreign students on southern campuses. For the next 17 years his work with the Y was in Nashville developing and running programs to train their personnel. From 1936 until 1946, he taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Fisk University. When he retired at the age of 70, he was appointed to the Berea College Board of Trustees and actively traveled the Appalachian Region to promote it. In 1957 he was instrumental in acquiring a grant of a quarter of a million dollars from the Ford Foundation to conduct a wide-ranging study of the Appalachian Region. This book is essentially a report on that study.
New York: Friendship Press, 1962. 165 pages with discussion questions. Trade paperback.