African-American History

The Revival of Frederick Douglass' The North Star

The Revival of Frederick Douglass’ The North Star

In 1847, 172 years ago, Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany started The North Star as the leading abolitionist newspaper of the day. Now, with the blessing and permission of the family of Frederick Douglass, The North Star is being revived.

University of Cincinnati to Decide What to Do About Its Slave-Owning Founder

University of Cincinnati to Decide What to Do About Its Slave-Owning Founder

When McMicken died in 1858, he left money and property to the city of Cincinnati “to found an institution where White boys and girls might be taught.” He owned slaves and reportedly fathered children with enslaved women.

The State of Illinois Now Requires Public Universities to Offer Courses on Black History

The State of Illinois Now Requires Public Universities to Offer Courses on Black History

A new bill passed into law in the state of Illinois requires all state-operated colleges and universities in the state to include at least one course on Black history. The educational institutions can meet the requirement by offering an online course.

Silent Movie Shows the Earliest Depiction of African American Affection Captured on Film

Silent Movie Shows the Earliest Depiction of African American Affection Captured on Film

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California recently discovered a silent movie that was filmed in 1898. The film, entitled Something Good-Negro Kiss, is believed to be earliest depiction of African American affection captured on film.

University Students Examine Slavery at Richmond’s Wilton House

University Students Examine Slavery at Richmond’s Wilton House

Students at Virginia Commonwealth University spent the fall semester studying the enslaved population at Wilton House, the main building at a former, 2,000-acre tobacco plantation.

Remembering the Work of Early Black Classicists

Remembering the Work of Early Black Classicists

Michele Valerie Ronnick, now a full professor in the department of classical and modern languages and literatures at Wayne State University in Detroit, has been a leader in the effort to highlight the pioneering work of early Black classicists.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Examines Its Ties to Slavery

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Examines Its Ties to Slavery

The investigation, led by three Black and three White faculty members at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, found no evidence that the school had a connection to the slave trade. However, the founders of the seminary collectively owned more than 50 slaves.

Western Carolina University Will Name New Residence Hall After Levern Hamlin Allen

Western Carolina University Will Name New Residence Hall After Levern Hamlin Allen

In 1957, Levern Hamlin Allen was the first African-American student to enroll at what is now Western Carolina University and was among the first Black students to be admitted to any of North Carolina’s predominantly White state institutions of higher education.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Creates Digital Archive on Segregation in Local Schools

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Creates Digital Archive on Segregation in Local Schools

The Center for Arkansas History and Culture at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has completed work on a project to digitize 350,000 items relating to the history of segregation and integration of Arkansas’s educational system.

Rutgers University Launches Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center

Rutgers University Launches Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Centers are a nationwide effort developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and funded by Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The latest center has opened on the Newark campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey.

University of Missouri Names Two Dormitories After African Americans

University of Missouri Names Two Dormitories After African Americans

Lucile Bluford was denied admission into the journalism graduate program 11 times on the account of the color of her skin. George C. Brooks was director of financial aid at the university for 17 years and participated in efforts to desegregate local restaurants.

Washington and Lee University Removes Slaveholder's Name From Building

Washington and Lee University Removes Slaveholder’s Name From Building

Upon his death, John Robinson left his estate, farm, and 73 slaves to what is now Washington and Lee University. In 1836, the college sold the slaves and used the money to build Robinson Hall. Now the university is removing Robinson’s name from the building which will now honor the school’s first Black student.

Yale Divinity School Commissions Painting of First African-American to Take Classes

Yale Divinity School Commissions Painting of First African-American to Take Classes

In the 1830s, Pennington, an escapee from slavery in Maryland and an aspiring minister, audited classes at the Yale Divinity School even though he was not allowed to officially enroll. He was permitted to sit in the back of the classroom and listen. He was not allowed to speak during classes or borrow books from the library.

Temple University Adds Tupac Shakur Memorabilia to its Blockson Afro-American Collection

Temple University Adds Tupac Shakur Memorabilia to its Blockson Afro-American Collection

Tupac Shakur was a prominent voice of 1990s hip-hop and remains one of the most influential artists of his generation, having sold more than 42 million copies of his albums and singles. Temple University in Philadelphia has acquired a dozen documents handwritten by Shakur and two pieces of jewelry.

Duke University's New Slavery to Freedom Lab

Duke University’s New Slavery to Freedom Lab

According to its website, the new lab will “examine the life and afterlives of slavery and emancipation, linking Duke University to the Global South.”

Florida State University Launches a New Civil Rights Institute

Florida State University Launches a New Civil Rights Institute

The mission of the new institute is to honor and study the United States civil rights movement and to promote civil rights and social change. It will host speakers and events, curate museum exhibits, develop an interactive website and publications, and support education and research.

Princeton University's Tera Hunter Wins Book Awards From the American Historical Association

Princeton University’s Tera Hunter Wins Book Awards From the American Historical Association

Tera W. Hunter, the Edwards Professor of History and professor of African American studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, has been awarded the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in women’s history and/or feminist theory as well as the Littleton-Griswold Prize in U.S. law and society from the American Historical Association.

Texas A&M University Project Will Document Freedom Colonies Throughout Texas

Texas A&M University Project Will Document Freedom Colonies Throughout Texas

Freedom colonies were self-sufficient, all-Black settlements that former slaves established after they were freed. The Texas Freedom Colonies Project, established by a scholar at Texas A&M University, aims to help African-American Texans reclaim their unrecognized and unrecorded heritage.

Vanderbilt Unveils Portraits of Ten Individuals Who Have Supported Blacks on Campus

Vanderbilt Unveils Portraits of Ten Individuals Who Have Supported Blacks on Campus

The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University has unveiled 10 new portraits of individuals of all races from Vanderbilt’s present and past who have made the university a more inclusive space for Black students, faculty, and staff.

Universities Team Up With The HistoryMakers

Universities Team Up With The HistoryMakers

The University of Virginia and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh will collaborate with The HistoryMakers, to enhance the nation’s largest archive of videotaped oral histories of African-American leaders.

Johns Hopkins University to Name a New Building After Henrietta Lacks

Johns Hopkins University to Name a New Building After Henrietta Lacks

A new interdisciplinary building on Johns Hopkins University’s East Baltimore campus will be named in honor of Henrietta Lacks, who was the source of the HeLa cell line that has been critical to numerous significant advances in modern medicine.

The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles Acquires the Papers of Artist Betye Saar

The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles Acquires the Papers of Artist Betye Saar

The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles has allocated $5 million to establish the African American Art History Initiative.

Tulane University Exhibit Showcases Photographs of Plantation Slave Housing

Tulane University Exhibit Showcases Photographs of Plantation Slave Housing

In 1978, photographer Phillip Marin Denman began documenting the more than 100 buildings on the grounds of the Laurel Valley Plantation in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He returned in 2005 and again in 2017 to record the condition of the plantation and the remaining structures.

University Professor's Research Results in Honors for Murdered World War I Veteran

University Professor’s Research Results in Honors for Murdered World War I Veteran

While investigating the 1919 Elaine Massacre, University of Arkansas Little Rock history professor Brian Mitchell discovered that Leroy Johnston, a Black World War I veteran and victim of the massacre, had his medical records altered, denying him military honors that he deserved.

New Book Provides Insight Into the Influence of an 18th-Century Slave Ship Woodcut Engraving

New Book Provides Insight Into the Influence of an 18th-Century Slave Ship Woodcut Engraving

The original wood engraving of a slave ship was created in 1788 by British abolitionists who intended to influence the legislators who regulated the slave trade. It was the first image to expose ordinary people to the barbarism of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Bowdoin College Scholar Explores the Issue of Slavery in Relation to the State of Maine

Bowdoin College Scholar Explores the Issue of Slavery in Relation to the State of Maine

Brian Purnell, an associate professor of history and Africana studies at Bowdoin College in Maine, believes that even though Maine’s statehood nearly 200 years ago kept the balance between slave-states and free-states, it strengthened slavery elsewhere.

Washington and Lee University President Rejects Plans to Convert Lee Chapel Into a Museum

Washington and Lee University President Rejects Plans to Convert Lee Chapel Into a Museum

An advisory panel of faculty, staff, alumni, and students suggested that Lee Chapel should be converted into a museum and key campus events should no longer be held there. Robert E. Lee and his family are buried underneath the chapel.

The College of William & Mary Soliciting Ideas for a Memorial to the Slaves That Worked on Campus

The College of William & Mary Soliciting Ideas for a Memorial to the Slaves That Worked on Campus

The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has launched a competition to solicit conceptual ideas for a Memorial to African-Americans Enslaved early in the educational institution’s history.

SUNY New Paltz Looking to Change Names of Buildings That Honor Slave Owners

SUNY New Paltz Looking to Change Names of Buildings That Honor Slave Owners

The president of the State University of New York at New Paltz is recommending that the university change the names of six buildings which are currently named after the first settling families of New Paltz, all of whom owned slaves.

A Mural With Stereotypical Images of Blacks Is Once Again on View at the University of Kentucky

A Mural With Stereotypical Images of Blacks Is Once Again on View at the University of Kentucky

But the university has balanced the images from its past with new artwork showing the silhouettes and portraits of three African Americans important to the state’s history.

Virginia Commonwealth University Educates Social Work Students on Richmond's Racial History

Virginia Commonwealth University Educates Social Work Students on Richmond’s Racial History

This event aimed to teach the university’s social work students and others in the social work field about Richmond’s history with racial discrimination and its effects which still linger today.

Northeastern University Team Digs Into Jim Crow-Era Cold Case Murders

Northeastern University Team Digs Into Jim Crow-Era Cold Case Murders

All six victims were murdered by White men who were later not prosecuted for their crimes. Three of the Black men were killed by police officers.

The Noisy Controversy Over Silent Sam

The Noisy Controversy Over Silent Sam

Last week the Silent Sam statue honoring soldiers who fought for the Confederacy on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s was torn down by protestors during a rally. But it appears that the controversy is far from over.

A Handwritten Letter by Rosa Parks Has Been Donated to Alabama State University

A Handwritten Letter by Rosa Parks Has Been Donated to Alabama State University

In January 1957, the home of Rev. Bob Graetz and his wife Jeannie, a White couple who were both very active in the civil rights movement in the city, was bombed. Rosa Parks, who lived across the street wrote a letter describing that incident. The letter has now been donated to Alabama State University.

Bryn Mawr College Takes Action to Confront the Racism of a Former President

Bryn Mawr College Takes Action to Confront the Racism of a Former President

M. Carey Thomas served as the second president of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania from 1884 to 1922. During this period she refused to admit Black students and refused to hire Jewish faculty.

Tuskegee University Receives the Photographic Archives of Prentice H. Polk

Tuskegee University Receives the Photographic Archives of Prentice H. Polk

Prentice H. Polk was one of the most influential photographers of his time. Much of Polk’s work was centered around Tuskegee Institute, and celebrated family life, national and local elite individuals, and specific events occurring on campus.