“The cost of liberty is worth less than the cost of repression.” -W.E.B. DuBois

Aldon D. Morris PhD. Sociology

Aldon Morris is the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. His interests include race, social inequality, religion, politics, theory and social movements. Morris is the author of the award winning book, The Origins of the Civil rights Movement. He is co-editor of Frontiers in Social Movement Theory and Opposition Consciousness. He has published widely on a variety of topics. His book, The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology, was published in 2015 by the University of California Press. The Scholar Denied, continues to exert significant influence in sociology and the social sciences, nationally and internationally. It has challenged sociologists to rethink the canon and how they teach sociology, especially sociological theory and methodology.

Many of his recent scholarly activities have centered on additional research and writing on issues highlighted by The Scholar Denied that have not received adequate attention. He recently organized an editorial team to produce a definitive handbook on W. E. B. Du Bois’ scholarship and activism that is under contract with Oxford University Press. Thus, future work will address the many controversies ignited by The Scholar Denied. He continues to work with a diverse group of scholars researching and publishing work generated by ideas advanced in The Scholar Denied. Recently, such work has appeared in England, South Africa, and Brazil. Morris’ research on the Civil Rights Movement continues.

Morris is a former Chair of Sociology, Director of Asian American Studies and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University.

I Am Honored To Serve As The 112th ASA President!

June 3, 2019

Dear all, I am so pleased to talk to you today. As you know, I ran for President of the American Sociological Association. I was elected as the 112th President of the Association today. First, I wish to give honor to my grandmother, Flavelia, and aunt Claudell, and my mother Mary Lyles who told me as a little child in Jim Crow Mississippi to hold my head high and to get all the education I could. They said that the white man had taken everything from us imaginable. But they declared, he can not take away your education so go get it. They made it known to me that though they were prohibited from getting an education that was no excuse for me. All but my mother are gone now and even she is hanging on to dear life. I thank these proud black women for sacrificing for me so that I could see a better day.

But along this journey I have so many relatives, friends and colleagues who supported me and made it known that they had faith in me. I cannot begin to tell you what you have been to me over the decades. When the devils of doubt stepped in my path you said fear not and you best keep stepping. I heard you and I tried to keep the faith. I am the product of a collective nurturing.

And speaking of dreams, Dear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I want you to know that for me there was no one who inspired me the way you did. You stepped out boldly and eloquently and told us to rise up against injustice because though the moral universe was long it bend towards justice. I know you were not perfect but I state unequivocally, I stand in opposition to the historian, David Garrow, who wishes to destroy what you and that great movement did for our people, humanity and this world. Dorothy Cotton i am so glad I got to meet you and to touch your soul and to learn of your love and sacrifice to lift us up from a new form of slavery. Long live that peoples’ movement and forever we honor you Dr. King and all those like Ella Baker and Septima Clark who fought for all humanity.Oh and yes, thank you Dr. W. E. Du Bois for your scholarship and activism that guide us today as we confront the ugly racisms and inequalities of today.

To my friends and supporters I want you to know that I am because you are. Now the work begins. Straight ahead!

Recent Awards Include:

  • 2018 Nominated for President of the American Sociological Association (Accepted)
  • 2018 Film: Aldon Morris: The Scholar Affirmed (Documentary), Winner Best Documentary, Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival
  • 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, History of Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
  • 2018 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, History of Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
  • 2018 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • 2017 Film: The Great War of the Harlem Hellfighters, (Documentary) film by François Reinhardt, Paris, France
  • 2017 John D McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior
  • 2017 Award for Outstanding Leadership in Social Activism, Community Organizing, and Scholarly Teaching, Brooklyn, NY City Council
  • 2017 Fulbright Specialist Award

Awards for The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology:

  • 2016 R. R. Hawkins Award
  • 2016 Prose Award for Excellence in Social Sciences
  • 2016 Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award, Association for Humanist Sociology
  • 2016 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, American Sociological Association
  • 2016 William Julius Wilson Award for Sociological Practice, Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
  • 2016 Lester F. Ward Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied and Clinical Sociology



After receiving the 2016 Prose Award for the Scholar Denied, the American Publishing Association decided to make a film on Morris’ life and work. The resulting film, “Aldon Morris, The Scholar Affirmed,” traces his life and career from childhood Mississippi to his professorship at Northwestern University.