African-American History

Manuscript of Slave Autobiography to Be Published in Digital Form

Manuscript of Slave Autobiography to Be Published in Digital Form

Fields Cook was born into slavery on a Virginia plantation in 1817. His “A Scetch of My Own Life by Fields Cook” is one of the few, if only, surviving manuscripts written before the Civil War by a slave still in bondage.

Documenting the African American Experience at Northwestern University

Documenting the African American Experience at Northwestern University

Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, will soon have a permanent exhibition space documenting the lives of Black students, faculty, and alumni at the university. Charla Wilson will join the staff at Northwestern University Libraries as the inaugural Archivist for the Black Experience.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Scholar to Direct World War I Tribute Band

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Scholar to Direct World War I Tribute Band

Dr. Isrea Butler will direct the ensemble which is a recreation of the 369th Regimental Band that was made up of 65 African American and Puerto Rican soldiers that performed in the United States and in Europe during the World War I period a century ago.

Bucknell University Honors its First African American Graduate

Bucknell University Honors its First African American Graduate

Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, recently unveiled a bust of Edward McKnight Brawley, who in 1875 became the first African American to graduate from the university. He went on to serve as president of what is now Selma University in Alabama. Brawley also was president of Morris College in Alabama.

Tufts University Debuts Exhibit From the Gerald Gill Papers Collection

Tufts University Debuts Exhibit From the Gerald Gill Papers Collection

Gerald Gill taught history at Tufts University for 27 years before his death 10 years ago at the age of 59. Professor Gill was the author of “Another Light on the Hill,” which documented the history of African Americans at Tufts.

New Community Engagement Awards Honor Early Black Student at Yale

New Community Engagement Awards Honor Early Black Student at Yale

Yale University has announced the first cohort of 20 high school juniors who are the winners of the Bassett Award for Community Engagement. Bassett took classes at Yale in the 1850s and later was the first African American to be named a U.S. diplomat.

University of Cincinnati Researchers Produce a Racial Diversity Map of the Entire Nation

University of Cincinnati Researchers Produce a Racial Diversity Map of the Entire Nation

The map shows how the racial makeup of neighborhoods changed between 1990 and 2010. Users can zoom in to focus on a particular state, city, or even neighborhood. The maps are so detailed that information can be found for any 30-square-meter area in the country.

The 19th-Century Black Woman Who Now Has a Building Named After Her at Georgetown

The 19th-Century Black Woman Who Now Has a Building Named After Her at Georgetown

Recently, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., held a ceremony to name a campus building to honor Anne Marie Becraft, who in 1820 founded a school for Black girls in Washington. At the time she founded the school, Becraft was 15 years old.

First Black Woman Student at the University of Georgia Creates 'Giving Voice to the Voiceless' Fund

First Black Woman Student at the University of Georgia Creates ‘Giving Voice to the Voiceless’ Fund

Charlayne Hunter-Gault and her husband Ron Gault have created the Giving Voice to the Voiceless endowment at the University of Georgia. The endowment will provide grants to university students to promote social justice and global understanding.

University of Virginia Names a Campus Building in Honor of a Slave

University of Virginia Names a Campus Building in Honor of a Slave

Peyton Skipwith, a former slave who quarried stone for some of the early structures on the Charlottesville campus, was owned by John Hartwell Cocke, one of the first members of the university’s board of visitors.

University of Michigan Seeks to Identify All of Its Early Black Students

University of Michigan Seeks to Identify All of Its Early Black Students

Early records of the university did not include information on a student’s race. By using yearbooks, class photos, and student newspapers, researchers have identified more than 1,700 Black students who attended the university from 1853 to 1970.

Rutgers University Scholars Resurrect an Old Literary Magazine for Today's Generation

Rutgers University Scholars Resurrect an Old Literary Magazine for Today’s Generation

From 1966 to 1983, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore published the literary magazine Chicory. The publication, financed by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity, contained poetry, prose, and artwork composed by members of Baltimore’s low-income, African American communities.

Southern University to Award Degrees to Black Students Slain on Campus in 1972

Southern University to Award Degrees to Black Students Slain on Campus in 1972

In 1972, police were called to campus of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to remove Black student protestors from the president’s office. During the ensuing melee, two students were shot dead from shotgun blasts. No one was ever charged with the murders.

Georgetown University Continues to Make Amends to Descendants of Its Slaves

Georgetown University Continues to Make Amends to Descendants of Its Slaves

On April 18, several descendants of the slaves that were sold by the university in 1838 will come to Washington, D.C., for the ceremony to rename buildings that have honored university officials who participated in the slave trade.

New Documentary Film on the Importance of African American Speech

New Documentary Film on the Importance of African American Speech

North Carolina State University recently premiered a new documentary film that examines the history of African American speech, its cultural importance, and how African American speech has shaped modern American English.

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.