Philadelphia: The Young Friends Movement of the Philadelphia Yearly Meetings, . First printing. Softcover. Duodecimo. 32 pages. Very good. Thin card covers, saddle-stapled binding. A touch of soil to rear cover, front cover has mild browning to spine and top and fore edge margins.
The scarce first printing of a lecture by noted Harlem Renaissance writer, Jean Toomer. His first book, the novel "Cane," had burst on the scene in 1923 and was hailed by both white and African American critics.
Toomer resisted being classified as a Negro writer, being uncomfortable with the Black/White racial binary paradigm, and preferred instead to identify as "American". For a time he was a follower of the spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff. By the mid-1930s he had essentially retired from public life. He moved his family from New York to Doylestown, Pennsylvania and took up Quakerism.
Toomer's literary visibility effectively ended in 1936 with his poem "Blue Meridian," though he would continue to publish occasional essays in Quaker publications and write prodigiously for himself. This publication of Toomer's 1949 "William Penn Lecture" is therefore his last book.
Comes with a 1949 typed letter from Emma Cadbury, Chairman of The Wider Quaker Fellowship, transmitting Toomer's lecture as "timely and interesting."