A leading African American intellectual, Eugene Kinckle Jones (1885–1954) was instrumental in professionalizing black social work in America. Jones used his position was executive secretary of the National Urban League to work with social reformers advocating on behalf of African Americans and against racial discrimination. He also led the Urban League's efforts at campaigning for equal hiring practices and the inclusion of black workers in labor unions, and promoted the importance of vocational training and social work.
Drawing on interviews with Jones's colleagues and associates, as well as recently opened family and Urban League archives, Felix L. Armfield blends biography with an in-depth discussion of the roles of black institutions and organizations. The result is a work that offers new details on the growth of African American communities, the evolution of African American life, and the role of black social workers in the years before the civil rights era.