African-American History

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.

Monument to Jefferson Davis Removed From Texas State University Campus

Monument to Jefferson Davis Removed From Texas State University Campus

The granite monument to Davis was erected 85 years ago in 1931 on land adjacent to a federal highway. The university acquired the land at a later date but the state Department of Transportation continued to hold the right-of-way for the parcel where the monument was placed.

Yale University Honors Its First Black Student

Yale University Honors Its First Black Student

James W.C. Pennington took classes at Yale Divinity School beginning in 1834. He was not allowed to enroll but could audit courses from the back of classrooms. Pennington could not participate in classroom discussions and he was not allowed to take out books from the library.

New Online Archive of Black Student Newspaper Debuts at North Carolina State University

New Online Archive of Black Student Newspaper Debuts at North Carolina State University

The Nubian Message is a student-operated newspaper at North Carolina State University in Raleigh that was first published in 1992. The new online archive contains back issues from 1992 through 2005.

University of Kentucky Decides to Unveil Controversial Mural It Had Covered Up

University of Kentucky Decides to Unveil Controversial Mural It Had Covered Up

The mural, painted in the 1930s by artist Ann Rice O’Hanlon, had been criticized for its portrayal of African Americans and American Indians in scenes depicting the history of the city of Lexington, home to the university. One image shows slaves picking cotton.

U.S. House Votes to Provide $70 Million for Historic Preservation Projects at HBCUs

U.S. House Votes to Provide $70 Million for Historic Preservation Projects at HBCUs

The bill authorizes an appropriation of $10 million in each of the next seven years for programs to preserve historic buildings on the campuses of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities.

University of Iowa Names Its New Residence Hall for Alumna Elizabeth Catlett

University of Iowa Names Its New Residence Hall for Alumna Elizabeth Catlett

The University of Iowa is naming its newest residence hall in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, the celebrated artist and the first African American woman to earn a master of fine arts degree at the university.

Temple University Scholar Leads Effort to Remember Pennsylvania's Slaves

Temple University Scholar Leads Effort to Remember Pennsylvania’s Slaves

Charles L. Blockson, the curator emeritus of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia, led an effort to commemorate the lives of enslaved Africans who labored in Pennsylvania or who were transported through Philadelphia on their way to southern plantations.

Historians Recommend Reconstruction Era Sites for Inclusion in National Parks System

Historians Recommend Reconstruction Era Sites for Inclusion in National Parks System

Possible sites relating to the Reconstruction period that could be include in the park system, according to the authors of a new study, are Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi, New Orleans, and Memphis.

Universities Take Steps to Remove Symbols That Many African Americans Found Offensive

Universities Take Steps to Remove Symbols That Many African Americans Found Offensive

The University of Texas removed an inscription from a wall that paid tribute to those who fought for the Confederacy and Cornell University renamed its 3,500-acre Cornell Plantations to the Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Georgetown University Examines Its Ties to the Slave Trade

Georgetown University Examines Its Ties to the Slave Trade

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., announced that a memorial to slaves who were sold by the university in 1838 would be built on campus. Also preferential treatment in university admissions will be given to the descendants of the university’s former slaves.

The Song "Dixie" Will Be Heard No More at Ole Miss Football Games

The Song “Dixie” Will Be Heard No More at Ole Miss Football Games

The song, sometimes referred to as the Confederate National Anthem, has been played at football games and other campus events for at least the past 70 years.

University of Virginia Scholar Works to Preserve the History of the House of Slaves

University of Virginia Scholar Works to Preserve the History of the House of Slaves

A group of American and African scholars are working together to restore the home of Madame Anna Colas Pepin on Goree Island just off the coast of Senegal. A professor at the University of Virginia is one of the international scholars involved in the project.

New Website Explores the Origins of African American Music

New Website Explores the Origins of African American Music

Scholars at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have debuted an interactive website that chronicles what is believed to be among the earliest examples of the music of the African diaspora.

Yale Worker Breaks Stained Glass Window That Depicted Slaves

Yale Worker Breaks Stained Glass Window That Depicted Slaves

A dishwasher at the Calhoun residential college at Yale University, used a broom handle to punch out a stained glass window that depicted slaves carrying cotton. Yale later said that the windows depicting scenes from the life of slavery defender John C. Calhoun would be removed.

Princeton University's Toni Morrison Papers Archive Is Now Available to Researchers

Princeton University’s Toni Morrison Papers Archive Is Now Available to Researchers

Professor Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emerita and the 1993 Nobel Prize winner for literature. She joined the faculty at Princeton in 1989 and taught creative writing classes until 2006.

Research Focuses on Early Black Coal Miners in Appalachia

Research Focuses on Early Black Coal Miners in Appalachia

A new exhibit examining the lives of Black coal miners who migrated from the South to work in Appalachian mines in the early part of the twentieth century is now on display at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

New Yale Award Program for High School Students Honors Ebenezer Bassett

New Yale Award Program for High School Students Honors Ebenezer Bassett

Ebenezer Bassett was the first African American student to enroll at the Connecticut Normal School, which is now Central Connecticut State University. He taught at what is now Cheyney University and later became the first African American to serve as a diplomat for the United States.

City of Philadelphia to Honor Slain Educator and Civil Rights Activist, Octavius Catto

City of Philadelphia to Honor Slain Educator and Civil Rights Activist, Octavius Catto

Catto graduated as the valedictorian of the Institute for Colored Youth, which today is Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He later taught English literature, mathematics and classical languages at the institution. He was murdered in 1871 while trying to defend African Americans’ right to vote.