Access to Opportunity

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Cumulative Index to Opportunity, a Journal of Negro Life, volumes 1-27, (1923-1949)

The official publication of the National Urban League was indexed by Ethel M. Ellis, Cataloger, Negro Collection, Howard University Library. This index is a volume published by Kraus Reprint Co. in 1971.The preface states that it is an alphabetical index to authors, subjects, book reviews, drama reviews, opera reviews, dramas, editorials, poems, short stories and occasional titles.

Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life succeeded the Bulletin of the National Urban League in 1923 and remained the association’s official monthly publication until 1949. Edited in its early years by Charles S. Johnson, the league’s director of research, Opportunity ran to thirty-two pages an issue and sold for fifteen cents a copy. Johnson resigned in 1928 to take a position in the sociology department at Fisk University, replaced by Elmer A. Carter. The magazine directed its message at an urban, educated, middle-class audience concerned with the problem of race relations in American society. One of Opportunity’s ancillary purposes was to promote the programs and policies of the Urban League. In addition to a report of pertinent news, the magazine’s regular departments included “Social Progress,” “Our Negro College,” “Labor,” and the “Survey of the Month,” as well as notes on black accomplishments in the arts and professions. Although Opportunity sought to inform and instruct its readers on the social and economic condition of the race, and only secondarily on political issues, there was a decidedly literary character to the publication. James Weldon Johnson, Helene Johnson, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, and, for a short time, Claude McKay were but a few of the frequent contributors to the magazine. Countee Cullen and Gwendolyn Bennett each served for a period as literary critic in the 1920s, and in the 1930s Sterling Brown of Howard University wrote the monthly column “The Literary Scene.” MORE [FROM: The Harlem Renaissance, A Historical Dictionary for the Era, edited by Bruce Kellner, Greenwood Press, 1984]

From 1996 to 2008, the National Urban League revived the publication as Equal Opportunity Journal ("= Opportunity Journal"). The University Library has Opportunity in microfilm & print and Equal Opportunity Journal in print& electronic formats.