||This collection contains material for the autobiography of Horace R. Cayton, entitled
Long Old Road and published in 1965. Cayton was one of the foremost
African-American sociologists of his time, chronicling the experiences of urban black
communities in the northern United States. An author and an educator, he dedicated
to improving the social conditions of African-Americans in the earlier half of the
century. The collection is organized into two series: I. Long Old Road Manuscripts, 1931-1965, and II. Related Papers,
1955-1965 also pertaining to the work.
||Series I. is arranged according to the chapter titles of the finished book with background
materials and outlines preceding the chapter manuscripts. The background material
interviews with and short biographies of friends and family. Also present is an obituary
Cayton's sister, Madge, and works about his ancestors, including Hiram Revels, the
African-American person elected to the U.S. Senate.
|| This section has two compiled notebooks of later drafts of the chapters which parallel
finished work; however, two chapters are missing: “The White Man, Too, Has Troubles,”
“Blood Makes Good Paint.” They also contain the manuscript of “Back to the Black
Metropolis,” which is not present in an earlier form.
||The Related Papers in Series II. are organized by date. Present are correspondence,
including letters by Cayton to his publisher and agent as well as letters from each
all regarding Long Old Road. Also included are Cayton's résumé,
along with his entry for Who’s Who in America for 1965.
There is also a summons for a defamation lawsuit against Cayton and his publisher,
Press, brought by Yvonne Plummer for implying that she was of dubious morals.
||The collection does not contain material relating to any other work by Horace R. Cayton
directly concerning his personal life outside of what is in the autobiography.