Science: Passers

Will U.S. whites eventually absorb the nation's Negroes—as Italy, Mexico and Portugal have absorbed theirs? So thought James Bryce, and so, for more than a generation, have thought many sociologists. "It is now estimated," wrote Author Herbert Asbury in Collier's last week, "that there are at least between 5,000,000 and 8,000,000 persons in the U.S., supposed to be white, who possess Negro blood. . . . Authorities generally agree that between 15,000 and 30,000 . . . Negroes go over to the white side every year."

Author Asbury's conclusions are disputed by Sociologist John H. Burma of Grinnell College, who thinks the...