African-American History

Brown University Exhibit Features the African American Roots of Popular Music

Brown University Exhibit Features the African American Roots of Popular Music

The exhibit, “Bamboula! Black Music Before the Blues,” includes nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books, sheet music, concert posters, songbooks, and other artifacts. It will be shown at the university’s John Hay Library through May 5.

University of Cincinnati Acquires Archives of Civil Rights Leaders

University of Cincinnati Acquires Archives of Civil Rights Leaders

Marian Spencer served as vice mayor of Cincinnati and was a major force in the effort to desegregate the city’s public schools. Her late husband Donald was one of the first African American realtors in the city. Both Spencers graduated from the University of Cincinnati.

Hamilton College's Oral Histories of Jazz Greats Made Available Online

Hamilton College’s Oral Histories of Jazz Greats Made Available Online

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording, Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, has established a YouTube channel where it will share oral history interviews from its extensive Jazz Archive.

University of Alabama History Class Documents Lynchings That Occurred Near Campus

University of Alabama History Class Documents Lynchings That Occurred Near Campus

The class “Southern Memory: Lynchings in the South,” examined the history and legal environment that led to more than 4,000 lynchings of African Americans. Then each student was assigned to research and document the particular case of one lynching victim.

A Major Celebration of the Life and Work of Gwendolyn Brooks

A Major Celebration of the Life and Work of Gwendolyn Brooks

Brooks, who died in 2000, was the former poet laureate of the state of Illinois and in 1950 was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize. The University of Chicago is holding a major celebration of her life and works on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

University of Southern Mississippi's New Online Archive on Racially Segregated Libraries

University of Southern Mississippi’s New Online Archive on Racially Segregated Libraries

The research includes information on 12 segregated Carnegie libraries (or “Carnegie Negro Libraries” as they were called then), a group of public libraries that opened between 1900 and 1925.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Documents Black History in the City

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Documents Black History in the City

The university’s “Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas” project, included a documentary film, the formation of an advisory board, the collection of oral histories and materials, and the creation of a digital portal to provide online access to the project’s materials.

University of Kansas to Develop Curriculum for Teaching About the 1967 Riots

University of Kansas to Develop Curriculum for Teaching About the 1967 Riots

The three-week seminar, entitled “Teaching the Long Hot Summer of 1967 and Beyond,” will allow 30 high school teachers to develop lesson plans for teaching about this period of civil rights history.

Yale University Removes Name of Slavery Defender From Residential College

Yale University Removes Name of Slavery Defender From Residential College

In 1932 a residential college at Yale University was named for John C. Calhoun, a former vice president of the United States, Yale alumnus, and proponent of slavery. The university has now decided to remove his name from the college.

Tuskegee University Adds to Its Digitized Audio Archives

Tuskegee University Adds to Its Digitized Audio Archives

Tuskegee University, the historically Black educational institution in Alabama, has announced that is has digitized several important audio recordings from its university archives including speeches by Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammed Ali.

Cornell University Posts Online a Vast Archive of Historical Photographs of African Americans

Cornell University Posts Online a Vast Archive of Historical Photographs of African Americans

The collection includes 645 images, spanning the years from 1860 to the 1960s. Most of the photographs are images of everyday life in the African American community.

Centre College Removes Name of Alleged Bigot From Campus Hall

Centre College Removes Name of Alleged Bigot From Campus Hall

James Clark McReynolds was attorney general of the United States and then sat of the U.S. Supreme Court for 27 years. He refused to have Blacks or women as clerks and reportedly left the courtroom when the justices were addressed by Black or women attorneys.

Two African American Giants of Higher Education to Have Highways Named in Their Honor

Two African American Giants of Higher Education to Have Highways Named in Their Honor

The department of transportation in North Carolina plans to have stretches of interstate highways in the state named for Julius L. Chambers, who was chancellor of North Carolina Central University, and John Hope Franklin, the noted historian who was a long-time professor at Duke University.

University of Oregon Decides Not to Rename a Building Honoring a Supporter of Slavery

University of Oregon Decides Not to Rename a Building Honoring a Supporter of Slavery

Deady Hall is named after Matthew Deady, a legislator, university regent, and federal judge, who was a supporter of the institution of slavery. The renaming of the building was included in a set of 13 demands made by the Black Student Task Force in the fall of 2015.

West Virginia University Seeking Copies of Lost African American Newspapers

West Virginia University Seeking Copies of Lost African American Newspapers

The West Virginia and Regional History Center at West Virginia University is seeking copies of three African American newspapers that were published in Huntington, West Virginia, in the early twentieth century. There are no known copies of these newspapers.

New Website Chronicles Columbia University's Ties to Slavery

New Website Chronicles Columbia University’s Ties to Slavery

Columbia University in New York City has debuted a new website that details not only the university’s involvement in slavery since its founding in as King’s College 1754 but also efforts by those at the university to abolish it.

The Black University of Iowa Student Who Participated in Freedom Summer

The Black University of Iowa Student Who Participated in Freedom Summer

Seymour Gray Jr., a junior at the University of Iowa, traveled South with his five White peers in a station wagon loaned to the students by a faculty member to participate in voting rights efforts during Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. The university is seeking more information about the life of this civil rights warrior.

Courtroom Where Emmett Till's Murderers Were Acquitted to Be a History Museum

Courtroom Where Emmett Till’s Murderers Were Acquitted to Be a History Museum

David Tell, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas is leading a project to transform a courtroom in the Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, into an interactive history museum.

Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials

Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials

The University of Minnesota Libraries’ Umbra Search African American History website offer users access to more than 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries and cultural organizations.

Addressing the Issue of Mistrust Among Black Men for the Medical Establishment

Addressing the Issue of Mistrust Among Black Men for the Medical Establishment

Scholars at Stanford University and the University of Tennessee have published a working paper through the National Bureau of Economic Research that examines the lingering effect of distrust for the medical establishment among African American men today resulting from the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

University of Maryland Archaeologists Find Links Between African Religious Symbols and Christianity

University of Maryland Archaeologists Find Links Between African Religious Symbols and Christianity

At a decade-long excavation at Wye House, a former plantation near Easton, Maryland, archeologists from the University of Maryland found traditional African religious symbols side-by-side with symbols relating to Christianity.

Southern University Debuts Online Archive of Slave Narratives

Southern University Debuts Online Archive of Slave Narratives

The collection was assembled by John B. Cade Sr., a professor and dean at Southern University in the early twentieth century. Cade and a group of his students traveled throughout the South in the 1930s to interview former slaves.

University of North Alabama Honors its First Black Graduate

University of North Alabama Honors its First Black Graduate

In a case that lasted only 10 minutes, Wendell Wilkie Gunn, with the help of famed civil rights attorney Fred Gray, obtained a court order demanding that he be allowed to enroll at what is now the University of North Alabama. He did so on September 11, 1963 and graduated in 1965.

University of Virginia Envisions a Memorial to Slaves Who Worked on Campus

University of Virginia Envisions a Memorial to Slaves Who Worked on Campus

The University of Virginia recently held a meeting aimed at getting input from local residents in the Charlottesville area for their views on a proposed memorial to the Black slaves and laborers who helped construct early buildings on the university’s campus.

New Online Archive Documents Bank Redlining Practices in the 1930s

New Online Archive Documents Bank Redlining Practices in the 1930s

A new website hosted by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond offers visitors a look at a series of maps from the Home Owners Loan Corporation that document the practice of redlining during the New Deal era.

Confederate Monument Moved From the Edge of the University of Louisville Campus

Confederate Monument Moved From the Edge of the University of Louisville Campus

A monument honoring Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War, was moved from the edge of the campus of the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The University of Louisville Foundation paid $350,000 of the $400,000 cost to move the monument.

Bowie State University Study Examines the History of Lynchings in Maryland

Bowie State University Study Examines the History of Lynchings in Maryland

The study documented 40 lynchings in the state during the period from 1854 to 1933. The research was conducted by Nicholas M. Creary and two students. Dr. Creary is an assistant professor of history and government at Bowie State.

New Book Explores Rutgers University's Ties to Slavery

New Book Explores Rutgers University’s Ties to Slavery

The authors conclude that “the practice of slavery was part of the social reality of Queen’s College’s early leaders and the development of Rutgers was intertwined with the history of slavery in America.”

UCLA Debuts a New Online Archive Relating to African American Silent Films

UCLA Debuts a New Online Archive Relating to African American Silent Films

The database, entitled “Early African American Film: Reconstructing the History of Silent Race Films, 1909-1930,” includes information on actors, crew members, writers, producers, directors, and others who were involved in silent films.

Yale University Discovers a Rare Catalogue of Slavery in Its Archives

Yale University Discovers a Rare Catalogue of Slavery in Its Archives

Researchers at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University recently discovered a pamphlet in the university’s collections that had not been catalogued previously. The pamphlet is entitled Catalogue of Negroes, Mules, Carts, Wagons & C.

Pauli Murray's Home Slated to Become a National Historic Landmark

Pauli Murray’s Home Slated to Become a National Historic Landmark

The Pauli Murray Project at the Human Rights Center at Duke University has been working for many years to obtain landmark status for the civil rights activist’s home in Durham. Those efforts have finally reached fruition.

University of Alabama Debuts Online Archive of Documents Relating to the Scottsboro Boys

University of Alabama Debuts Online Archive of Documents Relating to the Scottsboro Boys

The archive, “To See Justice Done: Letters from the Scottsboro Trials,” includes thousands of letters, documents, petitions, and telegrams that were sent to Alabama governors during the legal proceedings.

John Carroll University in Ohio to Explore Its Historical Ties to Slavery

John Carroll University in Ohio to Explore Its Historical Ties to Slavery

John Carroll was the first Catholic bishop in the United States and was a founder of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He owned a least one slave and participated in the management of Jesuit-owned plantations in Maryland.

University of Iowa Makes Amends for Slighting Its African American Beauty Queen in 1955

University of Iowa Makes Amends for Slighting Its African American Beauty Queen in 1955

In December 1955, Dora Martin Berry was elected Miss State University of Iowa. However, due to the color of her skin, Berry was denied recognition as Miss SUI at official ceremonies where past holders of the post were honored.

Professor Seeks to Solve the Mystery of the Man Who Claimed to Be the Last Surviving Slave

Professor Seeks to Solve the Mystery of the Man Who Claimed to Be the Last Surviving Slave

Sylvester Magee died in Columbia, Mississippi, in 1971. He claimed he was born a slave in 1841 and after securing his freedom was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. If true, the 130-year-old Sylvester Magee was not only the last surviving American slave, he was the last living Civil War veteran.

University of Missouri Student Organization Honors 1923 Lynching Victim

University of Missouri Student Organization Honors 1923 Lynching Victim

In 1923, James T. Scott, who worked as a custodian at the University of Missouri in Columbia, was accused of raping the 14-year-old daughter of a White professor at the university. He was taken from jail and lynched. The rape victim later identified another man as her attacker.