Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham received the National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony on September 10. Winners of the National Humanities Medal are honored for outstanding achievements in “history, cultural studies, filmmaking, cultural commentary, and historic preservation.” The citation accompanying the award said that Professor Higginbotham was honored “for illuminating the African-American journey. In her writings and edited volumes, Dr. Higginbotham has traced the course of African-American progress, and deepened our understanding of the American story.”
Dr. Higginbotham is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African American Studies at Harvard University. Her great-grandfather Albert Royal Brooks was born a slave and served on the jury in the trial of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
Professor Higginbotham is the author of several books including Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church: 1880–1920 (Harvard University Press, 1993). She co-authored with John Hope Franklin, the ninth edition of From Slavery to Freedom (McGraw-Hill, 2010).
Dr. Higginbotham earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She holds a master’s degree from Howard University and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.