African-American History

University of Missouri Names Building After a Black Woman It Had Rejected for Admission in 1939

University of Missouri Names Building After a Black Woman It Had Rejected for Admission in 1939

In 1939, Lucile Bluford, who had worked as a journalist for several newspapers, applied for admission to the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was accepted for admission but later was turned away when university officials saw the color of her skin.

University of Utah Debuts New Online Archive on the History of Blacks in the Mormon Church

University of Utah Debuts New Online Archive on the History of Blacks in the Mormon Church

The digital history database – Century of Black Mormons – documents Black participation in the Church of Latter-day Saints between 1830 and 1930.

University of Pennsylvania Research Uncovers Its Early Ties to Slavery

University of Pennsylvania Research Uncovers Its Early Ties to Slavery

Research has shown that no fewer than 75 of the university’s early trustees owned at least one enslaved person. The labor of enslaved people was used to support and care for Penn faculty and students.

Building That Honored a Leader of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to Be Renamed

Building That Honored a Leader of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to Be Renamed

The building, named for former U.S. Surgeon General Thomas Parren, is home to many of the programs of the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Harvard University Acquires the Family Papers of Professor Patricia J. Williams

Harvard University Acquires the Family Papers of Professor Patricia J. Williams

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has acquired the archives of the family of Patricia J. Williams, the James L. Dohr Professor at the Columbia University School of Law. The archives include 65 boxes of family documents going back more than a century.

"Propped Up" by Higher Education

“Propped Up” by Higher Education

Angela Mae Kupenda, a professor of law at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, relates how the dream of higher education propped up her early life – in more ways than one.

Rutgers University-Newark Acquires the Archives of Jazz Legend Count Basie

Rutgers University-Newark Acquires the Archives of Jazz Legend Count Basie

The Count Basie Collection includes his pianos, Hammond organ, photos, correspondence, concert programs, business records, housewares and press clippings. Nearly 1,000 artifacts are included in the collection.

Baylor University Is Preserving the Recordings  of the Golden Age of Black Gospel

Baylor University Is Preserving the Recordings of the Golden Age of Black Gospel

These early Black gospel recordings – containing valuable history and culture – are rapidly disappearing. The Baylor University project seeks to preserve as many as these recording as possible in digital format.

UVA Appoints Members for Its Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation

UVA Appoints Members for Its Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation

The University of Virginia’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation is being chartered for four years and will examine the university’s history during this period and make recommendations for appropriate action in recognition of this history.

Boston College Scholars Honored for Their Work on African American Lawyer Robert Morris

Boston College Scholars Honored for Their Work on African American Lawyer Robert Morris

Three scholars at Boston College Law School have won an award from the American Association of Law Libraries for their catalog that accompanied the exhibit “Robert Morris: Lawyer and Activist.” Morris was the second Black lawyer in the United States.

Framingham State University to Honor Its First Black Graduate

Framingham State University to Honor Its First Black Graduate

Mary Miles Bibb graduated from the Massachusetts State Normal School in Lexington in 1843, The school later became Framingham State University. The university plans to name a residence hall in her honor.

Alabama Makes Amends to Students It Expelled From Alabama State 58 Years Ago

Alabama Makes Amends to Students It Expelled From Alabama State 58 Years Ago

On February 25, 1960, a group of Black students at Alabama State University participated in a sit-in at a racially segregated lunch counter at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Nine were expelled. Now the state has expunged the records of those disciplined in 1960.

Oberlin College to Name Its Main Library to Honor Mary Church Terrell

Oberlin College to Name Its Main Library to Honor Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell, was born in in 1863, the daughter of former slaves. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1884 and went on to become an educator, author, civil rights leader, and feminist activist.

Princeton University Offers a Walking Tour of Its African American History

Princeton University Offers a Walking Tour of Its African American History

Princeton University in New Jersey is developing as series of campus walking tours entitled “Making Visible What Has Been Invisible.” The first of these walking tours is entitled “Stories of African American Life at Princeton.”

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.