There are more than 1,000 entries in the encyclopedia detailing African American history from frontier days to the present time. More than 150 scholars contributed to the entries in the volume.
Honors & Awards
Goulda A. Downer, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C., was honored by the Institute of Caribbean Studies and Alcorn State University has renamed its Fine Arts Building to honor long-time faculty member Joyce J. Bolden.
Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, announced that its newest residence hall will be named to honor Maya Angelou, who served on the faculty at the university from 1982 until her death in 2014. The building will be the first on the Wake Forest campus to be named for an African American.
The honorees are Gilda Barabino dean of the School of Engineering at City College of New York, Karla Smith Fuller of Guttman Community College in New York City, and Yacob Astatke of the School of Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
John Keene, associate professor of English and chair of the African and African American studies department at the Newark campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Lannan Literary Award for fiction.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the Blue and Gold Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware, is the winner of the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award from the Association of Black Women Historians.
The honorees are Phyllis Sharps of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Vievee Francis of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Megan Covington of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
Marilyn Nelson is a professor emerita at the University of Connecticut. Professor Nelson is a winner of the Pushcart Prize and has been a finalist for the National Book Award three times. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Nelson was the poet laureate of the state of Connecticut.
Professor Bond, who was a civil rights pioneer and led the NAACP for 12 years, taught at the University of Virginia for 20 years. He was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and served in the Georgia State legislature for 20 years.
The Gittler Prize is presented annually to a person whose body of published work reflects scholarly excellence and makes a lasting contribution to racial, ethnic or religious relations. Professor Crenshaw, who is on the faculty at the law schools of Columbia University and UCLA, will receive the award and a $25,000 prize in October 2017.
James Rosser is having a building named in his honor at California State University, Los Angeles. Playwright Ntozake Shange will receive the Langston Hughes Medal from the City College of New York, and Adriel Hilton of Webster University was honored by the South Carolina College Personnel Association.
The award, presented by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, recognizes the best book of the year on slavery, the slave trade, or anti-slavery topics.
Georgiana Simpson enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1907 at the age of 41. Her presence of campus was protested by students from the South. But Simpson persisted and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1911 and a Ph.D. in 1921.
Helen Eugenia Hagan graduated from the Yale School of Music in 1912. She went on to a long career as a concert pianist and an educator. She died in 1964 but until recently her remains were buried in an unmarked grave in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery.
James W.C. Pennington took classes at Yale Divinity School beginning in 1834. He was not allowed to enroll but could audit courses from the back of classrooms. Pennington could not participate in classroom discussions and he was not allowed to take out books from the library.
Walter M. Kimbrough, the seventh president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been selected to receive the Dr. Kent L. Gardner Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.
Michelle Alexander is a visiting professor at the Union Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation. Earlier, she taught at Ohio State University and Stanford Law School. Professor Alexander is being honored for her research on racial disparities in incarceration rates.
Natasha Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and the director of the creative writing program at Emory University. She is the former poet laureate of the United States.
Adrienne R. Carter-Sowell of Texas A&M University was honored by the American Psychological Association and Saundra Yancy McGuire of Louisiana State University was selected to receive an award from the American Chemical Society.
Nnedi Okorafor, an associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System, is only the fourth author in the past two decades who has won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for the same novella. The awards are among the highest honors given to science fiction authors.
The University of Iowa is naming its newest residence hall in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, the celebrated artist and the first African American woman to earn a master of fine arts degree at the university.
T. Geronimo Johnson, who teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley, is being honored for his 2015 novel Welcome to Braggsville. The novel tells the story of four Berkeley students who stage a protest at a Civil War reenactment event in Georgia.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced six winners of its annual Writing Awards. The literary awards are only given to women who are in the early stages of their writing careers. Three of the six winners are African Americans with impressive higher education credentials.
The honorees are Wayne J. Dawkins, professor of professional practice in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Virginia, and Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
On February 22, 1960, 34 students from Virginia Union University were arrested for staging a sit-in at a segregated lunchcounter of a downtown department store. The city has now honored this group with a historical marker.
Carole Boston Weatherford, a professor of English at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, is being honored for authoring one of the year’s best books for children or young adults. Her book is on civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer.
The Texas Southern University team showcased their RadBlok device, an electromagnetic chip that improves cellphone reception, increases cellphone battery life, and protects the user from unwanted radiation.
In announcing the award the society stated that “Henry’s work specializes in painting, textile and mixed-media installation work that explores social relationships through depictions of the human figure shown in isolation and interacting with one another.”
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is honoring alumna and congressional representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. LaDonna Christian of Simmons College in Boston was named Nurse Educator of the Year and the late Professor Clement Alexander Price is being remembered by Rutgers University-Newark.
Natalie Graham, assistant professor of African American studies at California State University, Fullerton, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize from the Brooklyn, New York-based Cave Canem Foundation.
Rickey Laurentiis was selected as the winner of the 2016 Levis Reading Prize presented by Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and Bridgette Peteet, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati, was honored by the American Psychological Foundation.
Glenn C. Loury, the Merton P. Stolz Professor of the social sciences and professor of economics at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.
Venita Blackburn, an instructor at Arizona State University, is the winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Short Fiction and C. Shawn McGuffey, an associate professor of sociology at Boston College, was honored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
The Cabell First Novelist Award is presented by Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa, The New School, and Columbia University.
The dining hall at Calhoun Residential College will be renamed to honor Roosevelt L. Thompson. A resident of Calhoun college, Thompson was killed in an automobile accident during his senior year at Yale, after he had been selected as a Rhodes Scholar.