Earlier this week the American Economic Association (AEA) honored four economists as distinguished fellows, including the first ever posthumously awarded Distinguished Fellow, Sadie Alexander. Alexander was the first Black Woman to earn a PhD in Economics in 1921 but was forced to quit being an economist because there were no job prospects at all for a Black economist woman. Sadie Alexander became a lawyer and continued to fight, write, and talk against class and racial oppression and inequality. Professor Nina Banks did extensive archival work to publish the book of Alexander’s writings and speeches: Democracy, Race, and Justice which was published 100 years after she received her PhD.
When the American Economics Association honored Sadie Alexander this week they did so by not citing and plagiarizing Professor Bank’s research. That the AEA honors its own tradition as economists as servants of power instead of economics as serving humanity it is only appropriate that they honor a silenced Black woman economist by silencing a current Black woman economist. Here is a letter by Professor Nina Banks discussing what the AEA did and included is also a video of Nina Banks talking about Sadie Alexander at John Jay College in 2015.
Thank you Nina Banks for unearthing Sadie Alexander for all of us and shame on the AEA!