Miller, Kelly(1863–1939) civil rights activist, educator; born in Winnsboro, S.C. Son of a slave mother and a free black father, he graduated from Howard University (1886), and after studying science at Johns Hopkins, returned to teach at Howard (1890–1934). He earned a law degree from the school (1903). For most of his career at Howard he chaired the sociology department; he was also dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and held other posts. He assisted W. E. B. DuBois in editing the journal, Crisis, and he wrote many essays and several books, including Out of the House of Bondage (1917), emphasizing the progress African-Americans had made since emancipation and the role of education in attaining full equality. One of the major African-American spokesmen and teachers of the early 20th century, he was considered a voice of reason and moderation in the struggle for equal rights.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.