African-American History

Washington and Lee University President Rejects Plans to Convert Lee Chapel Into a Museum

Washington and Lee University President Rejects Plans to Convert Lee Chapel Into a Museum

An advisory panel of faculty, staff, alumni, and students suggested that Lee Chapel should be converted into a museum and key campus events should no longer be held there. Robert E. Lee and his family are buried underneath the chapel.

The College of William & Mary Soliciting Ideas for a Memorial to the Slaves That Worked on Campus

The College of William & Mary Soliciting Ideas for a Memorial to the Slaves That Worked on Campus

The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has launched a competition to solicit conceptual ideas for a Memorial to African-Americans Enslaved early in the educational institution’s history.

SUNY New Paltz Looking to Change Names of Buildings That Honor Slave Owners

SUNY New Paltz Looking to Change Names of Buildings That Honor Slave Owners

The president of the State University of New York at New Paltz is recommending that the university change the names of six buildings which are currently named after the first settling families of New Paltz, all of whom owned slaves.

A Mural With Stereotypical Images of Blacks Is Once Again on View at the University of Kentucky

A Mural With Stereotypical Images of Blacks Is Once Again on View at the University of Kentucky

But the university has balanced the images from its past with new artwork showing the silhouettes and portraits of three African Americans important to the state’s history.

Virginia Commonwealth University Educates Social Work Students on Richmond's Racial History

Virginia Commonwealth University Educates Social Work Students on Richmond’s Racial History

This event aimed to teach the university’s social work students and others in the social work field about Richmond’s history with racial discrimination and its effects which still linger today.

Northeastern University Team Digs Into Jim Crow-Era Cold Case Murders

Northeastern University Team Digs Into Jim Crow-Era Cold Case Murders

All six victims were murdered by White men who were later not prosecuted for their crimes. Three of the Black men were killed by police officers.

The Noisy Controversy Over Silent Sam

The Noisy Controversy Over Silent Sam

Last week the Silent Sam statue honoring soldiers who fought for the Confederacy on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s was torn down by protestors during a rally. But it appears that the controversy is far from over.

A Handwritten Letter by Rosa Parks Has Been Donated to Alabama State University

A Handwritten Letter by Rosa Parks Has Been Donated to Alabama State University

In January 1957, the home of Rev. Bob Graetz and his wife Jeannie, a White couple who were both very active in the civil rights movement in the city, was bombed. Rosa Parks, who lived across the street wrote a letter describing that incident. The letter has now been donated to Alabama State University.

Bryn Mawr College Takes Action to Confront the Racism of a Former President

Bryn Mawr College Takes Action to Confront the Racism of a Former President

M. Carey Thomas served as the second president of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania from 1884 to 1922. During this period she refused to admit Black students and refused to hire Jewish faculty.

Tuskegee University Receives the Photographic Archives of Prentice H. Polk

Tuskegee University Receives the Photographic Archives of Prentice H. Polk

Prentice H. Polk was one of the most influential photographers of his time. Much of Polk’s work was centered around Tuskegee Institute, and celebrated family life, national and local elite individuals, and specific events occurring on campus.

Oregon State University Changes Building Names That Honored Proponents of Slavery

Oregon State University Changes Building Names That Honored Proponents of Slavery

Last fall, Edward Ray, president of Oregon State University, announced that the university would change the names of three buildings on campus because the people for whom the buildings had been named had expressed support for the institution of slavery. The university recently announced the name changes.

Princeton University Brings HBCU Students to Campus to Garner Interest in Archival Research

Princeton University Brings HBCU Students to Campus to Garner Interest in Archival Research

Last month, Princeton University in New Jersey held its inaugural Archives Research and Collaborative (ARCH) program on campus. Fourteen students from five historically Black colleges and universities spent five days on the Princeton campus with the goal of interesting them in careers in archives research.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Aim to Preserve Slave Records

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Aim to Preserve Slave Records

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has undertaken a research project entitled “People Not Property.” The goal of the project is to digitize slave deeds in 26 counties across North Carolina. These deeds contain information about the slaves’ names, age, family, and skills.

University of Virginia to Launch a Crowdsourced Transcription Effort of Julian Bond's Papers

University of Virginia to Launch a Crowdsourced Transcription Effort of Julian Bond’s Papers

On August 15, individuals who join the transcription effort will be asked to go to five locations in Charlottesville where they will transcribe some of Bond’s speeches. People interested in participating in the transcription effort will also be able to contribute to the project online.

Rice University's New Archive on Texas' Convict Leasing System

Rice University’s New Archive on Texas’ Convict Leasing System

The system routinely leased out prisoners to local plantations and other private landowners, where they were worked under horrendous conditions. Large numbers of these leased prisoners were African Americans.

Newark Campus of Rutgers University Honors Frederick Douglass

Newark Campus of Rutgers University Honors Frederick Douglass

On April 17, 1849, Frederick Douglass delivered an address at the First African Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey. The church, which no longer exists, was located on the current site of the university’s athletic fields. The fields now have been named to honor Frederick Douglass.

Florida State University to Remove Name of Segregationist Judge From Its Law School

Florida State University to Remove Name of Segregationist Judge From Its Law School

President John Thrasher will recommend to the legislature that the name of the B.K. Roberts College of Law be changed. Roberts was a founder of the law school and was a member of the Florida Supreme Court. He wrote several pro-segregation opinions during the 1950s.

College of William and Mary to Erect Marker at Site of Early School for African Americans

College of William and Mary to Erect Marker at Site of Early School for African Americans

In 1760, the Associates of Dr. Bray, a London-based charity opened a school for enslaved and free Black children on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Wiliamsburg, Virginia. The college will place a historical marker at the site where the school is believed to have been located.

Project Aims to Expand Research on Obscure African American Novels

Project Aims to Expand Research on Obscure African American Novels

The Black Book Interactive Project at the University of Kansas is building the first searchable digital collection of previously unavailable and understudied African-American novels. Maryemma Graham, University Distinguished Professor of English, is overseeing the project.

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.