I remember when I was in school, a teacher told us about a famous quote in American History, something along the lines of :

"In the 20th century, the negro will be integrated and not assimilated"

I can't remember the exact quote, but I think W. E. B. Du Bois might have said it? Has anyone heard this kind of quote? Does anyone know who might have said it and what was the exact quote?

  • 2
    Couldn't find a Google hit for it. Tried checking an ngrams for those words. It looks possible, although I couldn't find a use of "integration" in the racial sense before the 1920's. Most 19th century uses were talking about calculus.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 22, 2021 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


It may this line from E. Franklin Frazier, 1962:

The Negro, according to Adams, could only be partially assimilated or, in our language, integrated but not assimilated.

To which his definition of terms seems important:

How does integration differ from assimilation? Assimilation involves, of course, integration for it is difficult to see how any people or group can become assimilated without being integrated into the economic and social organization of a country.

E. Franklin Frazier: "The Failure of the Negro Intellectual", (1962)

While this might look like a second hand quote, Adams being the original, compared to the line in question above, the Adams quote for comparison looks much less like a match:

Thus Charles Francis Adams, referring to the race problem in an address at Richmond, Va., in November, 1908, said:

[…] That theory is now plainly broken down. We are confronted by the obvious fact, as undeniable as it is hard, that the African will only partially assimilate and that he cannot be absorbed. He remains an alien element in the body politic. A foreign substance, he can neither be assimilated nor thrown out.

— Robert E. Park: "Racial Assimilation in Secondary Groups With Particular Reference to the Negro", American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 19, No. 5, 1914), pp. 606–623. jstor

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