The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of the 2021 An American Dilemma for the 21st Century grants, which support scholars, artists, and activists examining the enduring impact of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 study, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy.

In 2019, the SSRC, in partnership with the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, marked the 75th anniversary of Swedish Nobel laureate and economist Gunnar Myrdal’s work with a conference that reflected on and advanced research on anti-Black racism and its ramifications, highlighted in the 1944 study. In conjunction with the conference, the SSRC launched a digital platform to make widely accessible the Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in America research memoranda archive, housed at the Schomburg Center. The digital platform makes visible the research of a team of social scientists who worked with Myrdal, including those whose roles are lesser-known and whose lines of inquiry did not make the final draft of the book.

A multidisciplinary selection panel has awarded four applicants whose projects demonstrate a committed and sustained attempt to use the digital platform of archival materials in order to inform questions concerning the continued legacy of racial discrimination and social justice in the United States.

We’re excited to see how the recipients of these research grants, who include a sociologist, economist, political scientist, and artist and whose projects reflect a wide set of unique methods and innovative approaches, engage with and advance questions that persist today. Support for this initiative has been provided by the Program for Economic Research, Columbia University; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Department of Economics, Columbia University; the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University; the Division of Social Science, Columbia University; the Center on African American Politics, Columbia University; the Institute for New Economic Thinking; and the Russell Sage Foundation

2021 An American Dilemma for the 21st Century Grantees