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Gwaltney received a Master of Arts degree from the New School for Social Research in 1957.
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Gwaltney earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1967.
(In twenty-seven narratives, people who stood up for their...)
In twenty-seven narratives, people who stood up for their beliefs talk about the experiences and influences in childhood and early life that prompted them to become dissenters.
Gwaltney attended a local high school in Newark. In 1957, he earned his Master of Arts degree from the New School for Social Research in 1957. Ten years later John received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, where he won the Ansley Dissertation Award and studied under Margaret Mead.
Gwaltney was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Bucknell University in 1979 and a Doctor of Literature degree in 1980 from Upsala College.
Gwaltney was appointed a professor of anthropology at State University of New York in 1967. Four years later he took the same position at Syracuse University.
In his most famous writing Self-Portrait of Black America, Gwaltney went in search of “Core Black People” - the ordinary men and women who make up black America - and asked them to define their culture. Their responses, recorded in Drylongso, are to American oral history what blues and jazz are to American music.
Gwaltney was a member of the American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology, American Ethnological Association, Association of Black Anthropologists, American Folklore Society, American Oral History Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Gwaltney lost his eyesight soon after birth.