Unit 4 Reflection

Caroline Bond Day is now on Wikipedia

It was a stressful and frustrating experience to create edits of Caroline Bond Day on Wikipedia. I was looking for a female profession whose scholarly achievement was worthy to be acknowledged but was not well known and not loaded on Wikipedia. Since after I read several articles provided in the class, I recognized several critical systemic problems existing in Wikipedia. Especially the article “Meet the editors fighting racism and sexism on Wikipedia” drew my attention to discrimination on unfairness between men and women that encouraged me to produce edits for an African American female scholar. I believed that there would be many delightful but unknown professionals in the Crisis because more female professionals were on the cover pages than male professionals. In contradiction, while I was looking or reading through the magazine from January 1930 throughout March 1933, I found more male professionals’ articles and celebrated their accomplishment than female scholars.

Advertisement for introducing colleges and universities besides information of scholarships are very impressive and distinguishing from other magazines. This explains how hard African American leaders attempted to enlighten their society. When I found the name of “Caroline Bond Day” and her journal “Race-Crossing in the United States” published in March 1933 of the Crisis, I was instantly impelled by curiosity about her and her scholarly works. What and how did African American woman affect on ‘mixed race’ society? Looking up her name on Google in where I found very brief biography about and a photo of her, but found it nothing on Wikipedia.

I decided to created edits about her, started seeking information and her scholarly accomplishment that was the most difficult part of the whole process. I found two valuable sources from Diablo Valley College library: a book of “African-American Pioneer” and an article of “A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States.” To get more sources, I travelled to a public library in Concord and African-American Museum and History Library in Oakland where I found several more useful scholarly papers of Caroline Bond Day with a librarian’s help. While I was reading through all these sources for few days, I admired her idea of defining the racial types by the term of “blood-quantum.” It is normal to descript how a person mixed with more than one blood types; half-Asian and half-White. It, however, must be a sensational occurrence to meager a portion of blood, “11/16 Negro, 5/16 White,” especially having “Negro-White” families as an object of scientific study.

Heidi Ardizzone expresses what difficulties Day had to confront with collecting data of Negro-White family roots and their family photos in “Such fine families: photography and race in the work of Caroline Bond Day.” According to Heidi, the mixed race families did not want to reveal their family history because some of their families were not legally formed and because they did not know much about their own ancestors. However, Day did not stop and published her research paper “A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States” in 1932. With her research papers, she challenged the perception of inferiority of nonwhites. She attempted to eliminate racial preconception and discrimination and advocated social equality for all African Americans.

Editing for Wikipedia was a completely new type of study. Using symbolic glossaries were not familiar that caused consuming long hours and feeling frustrated. Reading introduction of Wikipedia and even watched YouTube video, but I was not able to add Caroline Bond Day’s edits for Wikipedia. The lecture, Anne Kingsley, showed me how to do in her office that helped me complete my work. After uploading edits of Caroline Bond Day’s on Wikipedia website, I looked up other scholars website; Langston Hughes and Zola Neale Hurston. Their pages have many links with other scholars and sources where marked with blue letters. I figured out how to connect Caroline Bond Day to other scholars by using a symbolic glossary “[[ ]]” and linked her with other African American scholars such as Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Du Bois and Ernest Hooton on Wikipedia. The frustrating process of creating edits for Wikipedia turned into a exciting and proud work to do. I did not know much about Wikipedia, and just used it whenever I needed. This class assignment taught me new ways to learn and to participate in sharing information though Wikipedia. I hope more people will recognize Caroline Bond Day’s scholarly work.


Link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/Caroline_Bond_Day

Caroline Stewart Bond Day (November 18, 1889 – May 5, 1948) was an American author and academic. She was one of the first African Americans to receive a degree in anthropology.[1]

Day was born in Montgomery, Alabama on November 18, 1889 and graducated with a Bachelor of Arts from Atlanta University in 1912. She became dean of women at Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas in 1920 for one year. She published various essays in the 1920s and early 1930s, including The Pink Hat, which is believed to be autobiographical.[2] She subsequently spent a number of years teaching at Howard University.[1] Day retired to Durham, North Carolina in 1939. She died on May 5, 1948 having been in poor health.[1]

Caroline Bond Day was the first African American to receive a Master’s degree in Anthropology.[3] She attended Harvard University and published her research on the sociology of African American families. Her thesis, “A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States,” published in 1932, contained sociological and anthropological information on 350 mixed-race family histories with over 400 photographs. .[4] This topic was close to Day’s own family life as she herself was of mixed race. Day was the first African American who turned her lens on her own family and social world, “Negro-White” families, in order to scientifically measure and record the hybridity of mixed race families by using the language of what she referred to as “blood-quantum” that illustrates the fraction of racial types.[5] Her research challenged the perception of inferiority of nonwhites. She attempted to eliminate racial preconception and discrimination and advocated social equality for all African Americans.,[6] .[7] Although Day’s work was not well received within contemporary scholarship in the early twentieth century and still remains controversial, her scientific research re-evaluates the accomplishments of African American women in the white male dominated field of physical anthropology and marks the first step in understanding and promoting African American biological vindication.[8]

Contents [hide]
1 Biography
2 Careers
3 See also
4 References
5 External links
Birth and Early Childhood

Caroline Bond Day was born on November 18, 1889 to Georgia and Moses Steward in Montgomery, Alabama. According to her own calculations of blood quantum, Day was a mulatto; 7/16 Negro; 1/16 Indian; and 8/16 White.[4] After her father’s death, her mother moved to Tuskegee, Alabama, where she taught at Tuskegee elementary school, and married John Percy Bond, a life insurance company executive. Day took her stepfather’s last name and had a half-sister, Wenonah Bond Logan, and a half-brother, Jack Bond.

Education and Marriage

After Day attended Tuskegee elementary school (1905) and Atlanta University High School (1908), she received a bachelor’s degree at Atlanta University in 1912, but her major and courses are unknown.[8] Day tried to obtain a graduate degree from Radcliffe College, but was initially refused when they did not accept the undergraduate course credits she earned from Atlanta University. She took additional undergraduate courses with Ernest Hooton, the only physical anthropologist within the academic department at Harvard and became the editor of her research project.[8] Following her attainment of a second Bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe, Day had various work experience: a YWCA secretary; as a social worker in relief and support services for black soldiers in New York City; an English teacher at Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas; and the head of the English department at Prairie View College in Texas. Day married Aaron Day, “11/16 Negro, 5/16 White,” a chemistry teacher at Prairie View College, on March 1, 1920,.[8][9] After the marriage, Aaron day worked for the National Benefit Life Insurance Company where Caroline’s stepfather was employed. The family moved several times due to Aaron Day’s frequent promotions. While Day was staying in Atlanta, Georgia, she taught English and drama at Atlanta University and also published several essays and short stories from 1922 to 1927.[9]

Day’s Research

By continuing to collect data from people of mixed black and white ancestry “in her spare time” over the thirteen years,[10] Day successfully published “A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States” in 1932.[8] Her accomplishment brought her the title of the first African American anthropology at Harvard to receive a Master’s degree with first authorship for her research work.[4] Her research was a unique anthropological study that provided over 400 family photographs and morphological features and possible inheritance patterns.[8] It provides a scholarly examination of physiological, biological and sociological characteristics of race crossing.[8] It is possible that Day was influenced by W.E.B Du Bois’ sociological study of the African American as a social group. Du Bois, the editor of The Crisis, was a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University from 1896 to 1910 while Day was attending Atlanta University.[8] Du Bois supported Day’s research and corresponded with her regarding her thesis work at Radcliffe. In fact, Day utilized his family photos in her research paper.[4]

Many decades after Days’ death, she is now recognized as a pioneer physical anthropologist whose study helped future black researchers and is used to challenge scientific racism about miscegenation.[8]

Day’s Death and Archive

Day was suffering from recurrent illness, and she died from a stroke due to complications from her chronic heart condition on May 5, 1948 in North Carolina,.[10][11] Day’s archive is kept at the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. Day’s archives are houses at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum. A digital edition of her thesis is available through Harvard University Library [12]


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