John Gibbs St. Clair Drake (January 2, 1911 – June 15, 1990) was an African-American sociologist and anthropologist whose scholarship and activism led him to document much of the social turmoil of the 1960s, establish some of the first Black Studies programs in American universities, and contribute to the independence movement in Ghana. Drake often wrote about challenges and achievements in race relations as a result of his extensive research. While studying at University of Chicago, in 1945 Drake co-authored with Horace R. Cayton, Jr. the work Black Metropolis, a landmark study of race and urban life in Chicago. Drake was one of the first African-American faculty members at Roosevelt University in Chicago, at a time when academic opportunities for Black scholars were usually limited to historically black colleges and universities. He continued his research while a professor at Roosevelt for 23 years, before leaving to found the African and African American Studies program at Stanford University. A major element in his career was an interest in Africa and the pan-African movement, which sprang from his dissertation work with immigrants from Africa living in the United Kingdom, and was expanded upon during his later research projects conducted in West Africa. Ultimately he spent years working in the newly independent country of Ghana as an academic and an informal advisor to the national government there, before his return to the United States and his academic career in that country.

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