Joseph T. Taylor
Early life and Education
Joseph T. Taylor was born in Mississippi, but as a child his family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois in the aftermath of a race riot there. He played basketball for Marshall College in Texas until he became injured and could no longer play. In his own words, “the only place for a jack-leg athlete was in honest scholarship.” So he pursued the rest of his education at the University of Illinois where he earned his A.B. in 1936 and his M.A. in 1937. He completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at Indiana University in 1952. He wrote his dissertation on “Changing Aims and Objectives of the Negro College.”
In 1939, Joseph Taylor served as a field investigator for the Carnegie Foundation financed Myrdal study, where he performed several in-depth studies of all black communities in Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma. From 1939-1942, he was at Florida A&M until he was called to serve in the armed forces during World War II. When he returned, he became the assistant to the President at Florida A&M. In 1950 he became a professor of sociology at Albany State College. From 1951-1955, he served as the chairman of the Social Science Division of Dillard University. From there he moved on to act as the Dean of Dillard University from 1955-1957.
In 1957, Dr. Taylor moved to Indianapolis where he became the director over Research and Program at the Flanner House. There he began working with Indiana University on a part-time basis with instructional work. In 1962, he began working at the University full-time as an associate professor of sociology, but continued to work part time at the Flanner House. In 1966 he became the acting Dean of the Indianapolis Campus.
Dr. Taylor has contributed to several scholarly journals including the Journal of Human Relations, The Central Christian Advocate, The Journal of Negro Education, and Race and Minority Group Housing.
Berea College awarded Joseph T. Taylor with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1969.