Arc of Justice

Arc of Justice


Kevin Boyle

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William Sanders Scarborough Character Analysis

William Sanders Scarborough is the president of the AME-founded Black Wilberforce University in the early decades of the 20th century. He exemplifies the idea of the talented tenth. Born into slavery, after the end of the American Civil War he becomes a shoemaker and then studies at the prestigious—and white—Oberlin College where he majors in classics. His academic success grants him access to prestigious and then all-white organizations like the American Philological Society. At Wilberforce, Scarborough drills the values of the talented tenth into his students, including Ossian Sweet.

William Sanders Scarborough Quotes in Arc of Justice

The Arc of Justice quotes below are all either spoken by William Sanders Scarborough or refer to William Sanders Scarborough. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Chapter 3 Quotes

Neighborhoods and businesses weren’t the only places where Negroes were increasingly unwelcome: at Scarborough’s beloved Oberlin, there was talk of black and white students taking their Bible studies in separate classes. None of this segregation had the sanction of law—state civil rights statutes remained on the books—and it wasn’t consistently applied: it was a patchwork of practices differing from place to place and even street to street. But for colored people, the trend was frighteningly familiar.

Page Number: 78-9
Explanation and Analysis:
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William Sanders Scarborough Character Timeline in Arc of Justice

The timeline below shows where the character William Sanders Scarborough appears in Arc of Justice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Migration
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
But the university’s president, William Sanders Scarborough, refused to compromise the talented tenth ideal when it came to the college’s academic students.... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
Scarborough supplements the school’s efforts to shape its students with “racial politics.” In 1905, Scarborough becomes... (full context)
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
...galvanizes white support for Black political action. In 1909, shortly before Ossian arrives at Wilberforce, Scarborough, W. E. B. Du Bois, and other prominent Black and white activists form the National... (full context)