African-American History

The First Book by Zora Neale Hurston Has Been Published 87 Years After It Was Written

The First Book by Zora Neale Hurston Has Been Published 87 Years After It Was Written

The book had not been published previously due to the heavily accented dialogue that makes it difficult to read for many people. The manuscript had been tucked away in the archives at Howard University for several decades.

Commission Examines History of Washington & Lee University and Makes Recommendations

Commission Examines History of Washington & Lee University and Makes Recommendations

First and foremost, the commission recommended that the name of the university not be changed despite the fact that George Washington was a slave owner and Robert E. Lee was a slave owner and led the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Emory University Acquires the Archives of Noted African American Dance Couple

Emory University Acquires the Archives of Noted African American Dance Couple

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, has acquired the papers of dancers and married couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder.

Princeton University Looks to Diversify its Collection of Portraits

Princeton University Looks to Diversify its Collection of Portraits

Portraits of Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison and Sir Arthur Lewis have been added to the university’s collection. Eight other portraits have been commissioned. Three of the new portraits will feature African Americans.

St. Cloud State University in Minnesota Names Building After Its First Black Graduate

St. Cloud State University in Minnesota Names Building After Its First Black Graduate

Ruby Cora Webster, the daughter of former slaves, earned a degree in elementary education at what was then called St. Cloud Normal School in 1909.

Salem College in North Carolina Examines Its Historical Ties to Slavery

Salem College in North Carolina Examines Its Historical Ties to Slavery

A new report finds that two enslaved African American students attended the school in the late eighteenth century and that officials at the institution bought and sold slaves and rented them to work on campus.

New Memorial Honoring the African American Victims of Lynchings Opens in Alabama

New Memorial Honoring the African American Victims of Lynchings Opens in Alabama

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, is a project of the Equal Justice Institute and honors the more than 4,000 African Americans who were lynched between 1877 and 1950.

University of California, Santa Barbara Receives the Papers of Civil Rights Activist Shirley Kennedy

University of California, Santa Barbara Receives the Papers of Civil Rights Activist Shirley Kennedy

Dr. Kennedy first came to the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a student in 1969. She began teaching at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1987 as a lecturer in Black studies.

Scholars Launch Effort to Digitize Records of Black Civil War Troops

Scholars Launch Effort to Digitize Records of Black Civil War Troops

A research team led by John Clegg, a doctoral student at New York University, is recruiting volunteers to transcribe the paper records of the estimated 200,000 members of the United States Colored Troops into a searchable database.

Princeton to Name Two Campus Locations After Former Slaves

Princeton to Name Two Campus Locations After Former Slaves

The board of trustees of Princeton University in New Jersey has voted to honor two former slaves who played a role in the university’s early history.

University of North Florida Project Seeks to Educate Area Youth on Civil Rights History

University of North Florida Project Seeks to Educate Area Youth on Civil Rights History

The Hope and History Mural Project, an initiative of the University of North Florida’s Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP), is involving students, local leaders, and area artists to produce a mural in a public space that tells the story of what is now called “Ax Handle Saturday.”

The University of Wisconsin Addresses Its History on the Issue of Race

The University of Wisconsin Addresses Its History on the Issue of Race

Recently, a study group submitted a report to Rebecca Blank, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, documenting the history of the relationship of the Ku Klux Klan to the campus community.

University of Montana's New Online Archive of Black Criminal Justice History in the State

University of Montana’s New Online Archive of Black Criminal Justice History in the State

The timeline, which includes entries from 1864 to 2018, includes archival photos, interpretive commentary and hundreds of individuals and events. The timeline was produced by Julia Sherman, a graduate of the University of Montana’s African American studies program.

Drake University Acquires the Papers of Long-Time Iowa Legislator and Alumnus Wayne Ford

Drake University Acquires the Papers of Long-Time Iowa Legislator and Alumnus Wayne Ford

Wayne Ford served from 1996 to 2010 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Ford was also the founder of Urban Dreams, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the lives of residents in low-income neighborhoods.

The College of William and Mary to Honor Its First African American Residential Students

The College of William and Mary to Honor Its First African American Residential Students

In the fall of 1967, Lynn Briley, Karen Ely, and Janet Brown, became the first African American students to live in residential housing on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. All three graduated four years later in 1971.

Historical Marker Honors a Tennessee State University Alumnus and Buffalo Soldier

Historical Marker Honors a Tennessee State University Alumnus and Buffalo Soldier

A Buffalo Soldier, Lt. William McBryar earned the Medal of Honor for his “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” on March 7, 1890 when his 10th Cavalry troop was engaged with Apache warriors. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the age of 74 at what is now Tennessee State University.

University of Michigan to Rename Two Campus Buildings That Honor Racists

University of Michigan to Rename Two Campus Buildings That Honor Racists

Clarence Cook Little who served for a brief time as president of the University of Michigan, was a proponent of sterilization for the “unfit.” Professor Alexander Winchell wrote about “the inferiority of the Negro.”

University of California, Berkeley Acquires Its First Archival Collection of a Black Photographer

University of California, Berkeley Acquires Its First Archival Collection of a Black Photographer

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley has acquired more than 5,000 negatives and photographic prints from 91-year-old photographer David Johnson. He was the first African American student of legendary photographer Ansel Adams.

Duke University Establishes an Online Archive of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

Duke University Establishes an Online Archive of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has established the SNCC Digital Gateway to make the story of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee available for students and researchers.

Four Universities Receive National Park Service Grants for Preservation Projects

Four Universities Receive National Park Service Grants for Preservation Projects

The National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior has announced a series of grants totaling more than Q$12 million to preserve key sites relating to African American history. Four universities are among the organizations receiving grants.

College of William and Mary Honors Its First Black Graduate

College of William and Mary Honors Its First Black Graduate

Edward Augustus Travis enrolled at the William and Mary Law School in 1951 and graduated three years later with bachelor of civil law degree. No other Black student graduated from the law school for the next 18 years.

Brown University Cancels the Display of a Home Where Rosa Parks Stayed in Detroit

Brown University Cancels the Display of a Home Where Rosa Parks Stayed in Detroit

Brown University had planned to host an exhibit that included the reconstruction of a small home where Rosa Parks had stayed in Detroit after leaving Alabama. But the display of the home has now been cancelled.

University of Oklahoma Names an Academic Department to Honor Clara Luper

University of Oklahoma Names an Academic Department to Honor Clara Luper

The University of Oklahoma has announced that it is recognizing educator and civil rights leader Clara Luper by naming the department of African and African American studies in her honor. Known as the “Mother of the Oklahoma Civil Rights Movement,” she taught high school history for 41 years.

The Andrew Brimmer Collection at Harvard Is Now Available for Scholarly Research

The Andrew Brimmer Collection at Harvard Is Now Available for Scholarly Research

Andrew F. Brimmer was a respected economist who was the first African American to serve as a governor of the Federal Reserve System. His massive archival collection of papers is now available for scholarly research at the library of Harvard Business School.

Rhodes College Students Set the Record Straight on Nathan Bedford Forrest

Rhodes College Students Set the Record Straight on Nathan Bedford Forrest

Students in a history class at Rhodes College in Memphis spent the fall semester researching the slave trade that occurred in the city prior to the Civil War. As a result of this research, a new historically marker will be erected where Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest sold slaves.

University of Mississippi Unveils Six New Historical Markers on Campus

University of Mississippi Unveils Six New Historical Markers on Campus

Some of the markers pay tribute to enslaved laborers who took part in the construction of several buildings on the campus of the state’s flagship university.

New Website Pays Tribute to Black Grandmothers

New Website Pays Tribute to Black Grandmothers

LaShawnDa Pittman, an assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington, has established the website Real Black Grandmothers where she presents oral histories of African American grandmothers who play a vital role in the Black community.

Scholar Develops a Traveling Exhibit on the History of African Americans at Clemson University

Scholar Develops a Traveling Exhibit on the History of African Americans at Clemson University

Rhonnda Robinson Thomas, an associate professor of English at Clemson University in South Carolina, is creating a museum exhibit that will travel to 10 sites across South Carolina over the next two years.

MIT Debuts a New Website Documenting Its African American History

MIT Debuts a New Website Documenting Its African American History

At present, the website offers more than 500 illustrations, photographs, and other archival material. An additional 2,500 items already collected by the MIT Black History Project will be included in the future.

Towson University Faculty Produce Film on Jim Crow-Era Baltimore

Towson University Faculty Produce Film on Jim Crow-Era Baltimore

The film, produced and directed by three faculty members in the College of Education at Towson University, presents oral histories of seven Baltimore residents who recount growing up in the city before the civil rights era.

The University of Maryland's Online Tour of Its African American History

The University of Maryland’s Online Tour of Its African American History

The tour features 17 locations on campus that are significant to the history of African Americans at the university. It includes landmarks that celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the campus and community.

University of South Carolina Honors Its First Black Faculty Member

University of South Carolina Honors Its First Black Faculty Member

In 1873, during the Reconstruction period when Blacks held political power in South Carolina, Richard T. Greener joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina. Four years later, all Black faculty and students were purged from the university.

MIT Is the Latest University to Explore Its Ties to Slavery

MIT Is the Latest University to Explore Its Ties to Slavery

Slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts in the late 1780s. However, researchers discovered that MIT’s first president – William Barton Rogers – owned slaves while he lived in Virginia.

University of Tennessee Students Creating Digital Archive of Records of Black Civil War Troops

University of Tennessee Students Creating Digital Archive of Records of Black Civil War Troops

More than 180,000 Black troops served in the Union Army during the Civil War and 1,100 were members of the 1st U.S. Colored Troops (Heavy Artillery) that was formed in Knoxville in 1864. More than three fourths of the Black troops in Knoxville were former slaves.

Harvard University Acquires the Papers of Angela Davis

Harvard University Acquires the Papers of Angela Davis

Professor Davis, who taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz until 2008, has been a political activist for most of her life, advocating for the rights of African Americans, women, and prison inmates.

Princeton University's Plan to Deal With the Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

Princeton University’s Plan to Deal With the Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

At Princeton, Woodrow Wilson had refused to consider the admission of Black students. As President of the United States, he racially segregated the federal government workforce and appointed White supremacists to his cabinet.