African-American History

Association of American Medical Colleges Changes Name of Its Most Prestigious Award

Association of American Medical Colleges Changes Name of Its Most Prestigious Award

In his 1910 report, Abraham Flexner wrote that Black students should be trained as “sanitarians” rather than surgeons and their primary role should be to protect White people from disease. “A well-taught negro sanitarian will be immensely useful; an essentially untrained negro wearing an M.D. degree is dangerous.”

Oklahoma State University Bestows Additional Honors on Its First Black Student

Oklahoma State University Bestows Additional Honors on Its First Black Student

In 1949, Nancy Randolph Davis became the first African-American student to enroll at what was then Oklahoma A&M College. Initially, she was required to sit in the hallway outside a classroom because of the color of her skin.

University of Pittsburgh Acquires the Extensive Archives of Playwright August Wilson

University of Pittsburgh Acquires the Extensive Archives of Playwright August Wilson

The collection — more than 450 boxes of materials — document a wide array of August Wilson’s career and interests from the 1960s to 2010s. The noted playwright was born in Pittsburgh in 1945 and called the city home until 1978.

University of Virginia  Takes Steps to Make its Campus a More Welcoming Place

University of Virginia Takes Steps to Make its Campus a More Welcoming Place

Jim Ryan, president of the University of Virginia, stated that these “actions that will make this place more clearly and obviously welcoming to all, and where all have an opportunity to thrive.”

HBCU Finally Removes the Names of a Ku Klux Klan Leader From a Residence Hall on Campus

HBCU Finally Removes the Names of a Ku Klux Klan Leader From a Residence Hall on Campus

Since 1929, Bibb Graves Hall on the campus of historically Black Alabama State University has honored a former governor and the Grand Cyclops of the Montgomery Klavern of the Ku Klux Klan.

University of Pennsylvania's New Initiative to Preserve Black Heritage Sites

University of Pennsylvania’s New Initiative to Preserve Black Heritage Sites

The University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design is launching a new initiative to advance the understanding and sustainable conservation of heritage sites relating to African American struggles for equality, from before the passage of the 14th Amendment to the present day.

American University Project to Examine Slavery in the Nation's Capital

American University Project to Examine Slavery in the Nation’s Capital

Mia Owens is the inaugural fellow for a new, two-year Public History Graduate Fellowship in the History of Slavery and Its Legacies in Washington, D.C. The fellowship is a partnership between The White House Historical Association and Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University.

College of William and Mary Students Participate in Archaeological Dig for Historic Black Church

College of William and Mary Students Participate in Archaeological Dig for Historic Black Church

Ground-penetrating radar indicates that remains of an early structure used by members of First Baptist Church — originally founded in secret by free and enslaved Blacks at the start of America’s Revolution — may lie buried in Colonial Williamsburg.

The University of the South Reckons With Its Past Ties to Slavery and Jim Crow

The University of the South Reckons With Its Past Ties to Slavery and Jim Crow

The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, enrolls nearly 1,700 undergraduate students and less than 100 graduate students, according to date supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 4 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Loras College Removes a Statue of Its Slave-Owning Founder

Loras College Removes a Statue of Its Slave-Owning Founder

Recently the college learned from a researcher who studied the bishop’s financial ledgers that Mathias Loras, the first Catholic bishop of Dubuque, Iowa, purchased an enslaved woman named Marie Louise in Mobile, Alabama. Loras enslaved the woman from 1836 to 1852.

University of Maryland Names Women's Studies Department After Harriet Tubman

University of Maryland Names Women’s Studies Department After Harriet Tubman

This is the first time that an academic department at the University of Maryland will be named after someone honorifically. The women’s studies department is the only one in the country that offers a Black women’s studies minor.

Emory University Acquires the Personal Papers of Kathleen Cleaver

Emory University Acquires the Personal Papers of Kathleen Cleaver

Kathleen Cleaver served as the communications secretary of the Black Panther Party. Later in her career, she served on the faculty at the Emory University School of Law.

Columbia University to Remove the Name of a Slave Owner From a Campus Building

Columbia University to Remove the Name of a Slave Owner From a Campus Building

Samuel Bard was a significant physician in the 18th century, a pioneer in obstetrics and treating diphtheria, who served as George Washington’s doctor. Dr. Bard also owned at least three slaves.

Roper Center at Cornell University Debuts Historical Archives on Polling of Blacks

Roper Center at Cornell University Debuts Historical Archives on Polling of Blacks

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has launched “Say Their Names, Hear Their Voices,” a publicly available collection of more than 80 years of public opinion surveys of Black Americans and U.S. attitudes about Black America.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro Creates Black Lives Matter Archive

University of North Carolina at Greensboro Creates Black Lives Matter Archive

Collecting for the project is ongoing, and the archive is particularly interested in photographs, video, protest signs, clothing, flyers, posters, and creative works. The material can be historic, originating with the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, as well as current.

The Amazing Woman Who Was the First Black Graduate of New Mexico State University

The Amazing Woman Who Was the First Black Graduate of New Mexico State University

Clara Belle Drisdale Williams’ professors did not allow her inside the lecture room because she was African American. She took notes while standing in the hallway. When she graduated in 1937 at the age of 51, she was not permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony.

California State University, Dominguez Hills Acquires Massive Archive of Black History

California State University, Dominguez Hills Acquires Massive Archive of Black History

The collection from the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum contains more than 2 million rare books, films, documents, photographs artifacts, and works of art related to the history and culture of African-Americans in the United States, with a significant focus on Southern California and the American West.

Harvard University Launches the Black Teacher Archives

Harvard University Launches the Black Teacher Archives

The first phase of the project will archive and digitize the state journals of “Colored Teachers Associations,” which operated for more than 100 years, from 1861 through 1970.

The Archives of Architect Paul Revere Williams Find a New Home

The Archives of Architect Paul Revere Williams Find a New Home

The archives, which include approximately 35,000 plans, 10,000 original drawings, photographs, and other materials, were jointly acquired by the University of Southern California School of Architecture and the Getty Research Institute.

Roanoke College in Virginia Creates the Center for Studying Structures of Race

Roanoke College in Virginia Creates the Center for Studying Structures of Race

Roanoke College was founded in 1842. While Roanoke College did not own slaves, the College’s earliest buildings — the Administration Building and Miller Hall — were constructed using the labor of enslaved people. Black students were not admitted until 1964.

Princeton Removes Names of Woodrow Wilson From Its School of Public and International Affairs

Princeton Removes Names of Woodrow Wilson From Its School of Public and International Affairs

As president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson refused to consider the admission of Black students. Wilson who went on to become the 28th president of the United States, racially segregated the federal government workforce and appointed White supremacists to his cabinet.

University of Kentucky to Remove a Large Mural With Demeaning Racial Images

University of Kentucky to Remove a Large Mural With Demeaning Racial Images

Amidst the nationwide protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, Eli Capilouto, president of the University of Kentucky said that the university would remove a Depression-era mural that contains demeaning images of African Americans.

Three Universities in Charlotte Team Up to Promote Racial Justice

Three Universities in Charlotte Team Up to Promote Racial Justice

The University of North Carolina at  Charlotte, historically Black Johnson C. Smith University, and Queens University of Charlotte have formed the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium to support racial healing and transformation in the community.

Texas A&M University's Africana Archive

Texas A&M University’s Africana Archive

Rebecca Hankins, a Texas A&M professor and archivist at Cushing Library, has been building the collection since she joined the university in 2003. She has focused her research and acquisitions involving organizations such as the Black Panthers and Students for a Democratic Society.

Brown University Students Explore the History of a Local African American Cemetery

Brown University Students Explore the History of a Local African American Cemetery

Three graduate students in archaeology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, worked with the Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission in Newport, Rhode Island, to create an interactive map of God’s Little Acre, one of the oldest African and African American burial grounds in the United States.

Harvard University Offers Online Course on the Selma Voting Rights March

Harvard University Offers Online Course on the Selma Voting Rights March

Selma Online is an interactive program that is designed for middle or high school students. The platform uses scenes from Ava DuVernay’s 2014 film Selma as a storyboard to bring the voting rights movement to life

Exhibit Documents History of Racial Discrimination and Violence in the Railroad Industry

Exhibit Documents History of Racial Discrimination and Violence in the Railroad Industry

The exhibit, “The Other Side of The Tracks: Discrimination and Social Mobility in the Railroad Industry,” will be on display at the Catherwood Library of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, through August 31.

The First "Virtual Stop" on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

The First “Virtual Stop” on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

The Digital Library on American Slavery at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been recognized as the first online stop in the National Park Service’s network of Underground Railroad historical sites.

Tulane University Removes a Bell From Campus That Had Been Used to Summon Enslaved People

Tulane University Removes a Bell From Campus That Had Been Used to Summon Enslaved People

Recently, Tulane University in New Orleans became aware of the fact that its Victory Bell, which was rung by students after athletic victories, was used on a Louisiana plantation as a signaling device to inform enslaved people when to move about the plantation.

Wake Forest University Apologizes for its Historical Ties to Slavery

Wake Forest University Apologizes for its Historical Ties to Slavery

The university was founded on the grounds of an old plantation near Raleigh in 1834 before moving to its current location in 1956. In 1860, 14 enslaved humans were auctioned for a total of $10,718 that added to the university’s endowment.

Mississippi State University Digitizes Records of Enslaved People

Mississippi State University Digitizes Records of Enslaved People

This undertaking involves digitizing 19th-century documents from across the South. The database will utilize records created or used by slave owners or the legal system to track enslaved persons, such as inventories, bills of sale, and probate and other court records.

University of Georgia Has Mounted an Oral History Project of Early Black Students

University of Georgia Has Mounted an Oral History Project of Early Black Students

While some of the recollections are memories of forging new paths, other stories reflect a continued culture change on campus with stories of racism, bias, and protests in classrooms, dorms and around campus.

Preserving the Writings of Anna Julia Cooper

Preserving the Writings of Anna Julia Cooper

Recently, the Humanities Center at Syracuse University partnered with the Colored Conventions Project to host a local transcribe-a-thon of the writings of Anna Julia Cooper. The community service project’s goal was to transcribe the writing of Dr. Cooper and create a digital archive of her work.

A Long-Forgotten HBCU to Get a Historical Marker in Huntsville, Texas

A Long-Forgotten HBCU to Get a Historical Marker in Huntsville, Texas

The Walker County Historical Commission has commissioned a historical marker to be placed at the corner of Old Madisonville Road and Pleasant Street in Huntsville, Texas. The site was the location of the Bishop Ward Normal and Collegiate Institute which was founded in 1883 but closed only a few years later.

Trinity University to Open a Civil Rights Museum in Downtown San Antonio

Trinity University to Open a Civil Rights Museum in Downtown San Antonio

Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, has announced plans to open a civil rights museum in the Kress Building, a former five and dime store in the downtown area of the city. The store had a lunch counter that refused to serve African Americans until 1960.

New Bowdoin College Courses Examines the Role of Black Women in U.S. Intellectual History

New Bowdoin College Courses Examines the Role of Black Women in U.S. Intellectual History

Established in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Africana studies at Bowdoin, the course, “Black Women’s Lives as the History of Africana Studies” addresses the diversity of social and political thought by Black women.