African-American History

Rice University Forms Task Force to Examine Its History Regarding Race

Rice University Forms Task Force to Examine Its History Regarding Race

William Marsh Rice was an oil and cotton tycoon, who when he died was said to be the richest man in Texas. He left the bulk of his estate to establish the Rice Institute for Literature. His will stipulated that only White students were allowed to enroll. The “Whites-only” policy remained in effect until 1965.

Virginia Tech Students Launch "African American Fourth of July" Website

Virginia Tech Students Launch “African American Fourth of July” Website

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg has recently launched a new website that summarizes the findings and analysis of a group of students who researched the historical archives of a group of newspapers to examine African Americans’ sentiments towards Independence Day over the years.

University of Colorado Historian Maps the Oyo Kingdom of West Africa in the Early 19th Century

University of Colorado Historian Maps the Oyo Kingdom of West Africa in the Early 19th Century

At its peak, the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo was one of the largest and most influential West African states. It was established in roughly the 13th century, and is best known for its cavalries that would patrol the forested savannas and capture people to be sold to slave traders.

Baylor University Is Now Collecting and Preserving Sermons From Black Civil Rights Era Preachers

Baylor University Is Now Collecting and Preserving Sermons From Black Civil Rights Era Preachers

The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, was established to identify, acquire, preserve, record, and catalogue gospel music. Now the project is branching out to find and preserve recorded sermons of Black preachers.

University of Southern Mississippi Team Finds the Wreckage of the Last Slave Ship

University of Southern Mississippi Team Finds the Wreckage of the Last Slave Ship

In 1860, the ship Clotilda is believed to be the last vessel to import slaves into the United States, more than 50 years after the international slave trade had been abolished.

Universities  Partner to Produce the Official Oral History of Barack Obama's Presidency

Universities Partner to Produce the Official Oral History of Barack Obama’s Presidency

The Obama Foundation has selected the Columbia Center for Oral History Research to produce the official oral history of Barack Obama’s presidency. The University of Hawai’i and the University of Chicago will also serve as contributing partners for the project.

Furman University in South Carolina Takes Measures to Atone for its Ties to Slavery

Furman University in South Carolina Takes Measures to Atone for its Ties to Slavery

The university will change the name of James C. Furman Hall. The building is named after the university’s first president who was a slave owner and a strong opponent of abolition. The board of trustees also agreed to erect a statue on campus honoring the university’s first Black undergraduate student.

University of North Carolina at Asheville Displays Works From its Isaiah Rice Photo Collection

University of North Carolina at Asheville Displays Works From its Isaiah Rice Photo Collection

A local deliveryman and beverage distributor, Isiah Rice also was an amateur photographer who used small cameras to take pictures of everyday life in Asheville’s African American community during the post-World War II era.

Emory University Launches Exhibit on Portraits of African American Nannies With White Children

Emory University Launches Exhibit on Portraits of African American Nannies With White Children

Many of the nannies depicted in these images are anonymous. The backs of the photos often bear the child’s name, but not the caregivers. Most of the information about the relationship between these nannies and their charges comes from the White family’s perspective.

New Online Database of Court Records of Cases of Enslaved People Seeking Their Freedom

New Online Database of Court Records of Cases of Enslaved People Seeking Their Freedom

The Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln recently debuted an online database of more than 500 court cases in which enslaved persons had sued to gain their freedom.

Wisconsin Law School Establishes First Endowed Chair Named for an African American

Wisconsin Law School Establishes First Endowed Chair Named for an African American

Professor James E. Jones, a 1956 alumnus, joined the law school faculty in 1969, making him the first African-American faculty member. Professor Jones died in 2014.

College of William & Mary Selects a Concept for a Memorial to Enslaved African-Americans

College of William & Mary Selects a Concept for a Memorial to Enslaved African-Americans

The winning concept resembles a brick fireplace where the community can gather to honor the work of the enslaved, many of whom worked at a similar hearth.

Jackson State University Debuts the Dr. Henry T. Sampson Jr. Collection

Jackson State University Debuts the Dr. Henry T. Sampson Jr. Collection

The collection features the historic contributions of African-Americans to motion pictures, performing arts, music, radio, and television broadcasting in the United States between 1865 and 1970.

University of Florida Acquires the Archives of African-American Musician Bo Diddley

University of Florida Acquires the Archives of African-American Musician Bo Diddley

The acquired items that will make up the Elias B. McDaniel (Bo Diddley) Collection include musical instruments, stage costumes, posters, photographs, documents, and memorabilia.

Georgetown Students Approve a Fee to Benefit the Descendants of the University's Slaves

Georgetown Students Approve a Fee to Benefit the Descendants of the University’s Slaves

The student body at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly approval a measure that will add $27.20 to their tuiition bills each semester. The fee will be used to create a fund that will benefit the descendants of the 272 people who were enslaved by the university.

Princeton Theological Seminary Students Demand Reparations for School's History With Slavery

Princeton Theological Seminary Students Demand Reparations for School’s History With Slavery

A group of faculty and students from Princeton Theological Seminary were a part of a colonization movement that aimed to send freed slaves back to Africa because they believed the former slaves could not co-exist with Whites.

University of California Scholars Update Website on the American Slave Trade

University of California Scholars Update Website on the American Slave Trade

The website houses detailed information on the slave trade from the 16th century to the 19th century The research team updated the site by adding 11,400 records on slave voyages within the Americas.

Predatory Lending Targeting Blacks Had Its Roots in the Antebellum South

Predatory Lending Targeting Blacks Had Its Roots in the Antebellum South

Amanda Gibson, a Ph.D student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has recently complied evidence that traces today’s predatory financial practices to economic victimization of free and enslaved African-Americans in the pre-emancipation South.

College of William & Mary Honors 18th Century School for Enslaved and Free Black Children

College of William & Mary Honors 18th Century School for Enslaved and Free Black Children

The marker’s establishment was part of the Lemon Project, a long-term research initiative at the college that seeks to explore the university’s involvement in slavery and segregation and its continued relationship with the African-American community.

African-American Burial Ground Found Underneath University of Pennsylvania Property

African-American Burial Ground Found Underneath University of Pennsylvania Property

The university learned last year that the property had previously been used as a burial ground. In response, the institution issued two sequences of field testing, which has recently conclusively confirmed the presence of graves.

New Website Highlights African American Contributions to World War I Effort in Arkansas

New Website Highlights African American Contributions to World War I Effort in Arkansas

A recently graduated master’s degree student and archivist at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has recently launched a website that highlights the contributions that Black communities in Arkansas made to the World War I effort.

The Debate Over Confederate Monuments Spreads to the University of Mississpppi

The Debate Over Confederate Monuments Spreads to the University of Mississpppi

On March 5, the Associate Student Body Senate at the University of Mississippi voted unanimously on a resolution asking university administrators to move a Confederate soldier monument from its prominent spot on campus to a Confederate cemetery.

Student Uncovers and Debuts Exhibit on Racism in the History of the Maryland Institute College of Art

Student Uncovers and Debuts Exhibit on Racism in the History of the Maryland Institute College of Art

The exhibit features curated photos and documents that show how the college reacted after being forced to admit African-American student Harry T. Pratt in 1891. After Pratt was admitted, the college established a policy to only admit “reputable White people.”

Georgetown Students Will Vote on Fee to Aid Descendants of Slaves Sold by the University

Georgetown Students Will Vote on Fee to Aid Descendants of Slaves Sold by the University

The $27.20 per semester fee, which would be added to students’ tuition, would contribute to a fund to benefit the descendant community of the 272 enslaved individuals who were sold to pay off Georgetown’s debt in 1838.

Cornell University Asks Public to Help Build Digital Database of Ads That Sought Fugitive Slaves

Cornell University Asks Public to Help Build Digital Database of Ads That Sought Fugitive Slaves

The insights the ads provide on the experiences of enslaved Africans and African-Americans are especially valuable because so little information about these individuals has been preserved.

New Residence Hall at James Madison University Will Honor Paul Jennings Who Was Enslaved

New Residence Hall at James Madison University Will Honor Paul Jennings Who Was Enslaved

Jennings was the personal “manservant” for James Madison on his estate in Virginia and also in Washington, D.C. After Madison’s death, Jennings secured his freedom and worked in the U.S. Pension Office.

Saint Elmo Brady Honored With a National Historical Chemical Landmark

Saint Elmo Brady Honored With a National Historical Chemical Landmark

Professor Brady was the first African American to earned a Ph.D. in chemistry. He will be honored with plaques at the University of Illinois, where he earned his doctorate, and at schools where he served on the faculty: Fisk University, Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Tougaloo College.

Harvard Students Create Exhibit on Relationship Between Christianity and Slavery

Harvard Students Create Exhibit on Relationship Between Christianity and Slavery

“The Yoke of Bondage: Christianity and African Slavery in the United States” features documents, including rare books, that range from 1619, when the first slaves where brought to Virginia, to the Civil War’s end in 1865.

Construction on Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Begins at the University of Virginia

Construction on Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Begins at the University of Virginia

Slaves, rented from local property owners, were used to construct many of the earliest campus buildings. Once the university opened, slaves were used for manual labor on campus. Some faculty members owned slaves.

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.