Americans Overwhelmingly Support Teaching the Current Impacts of Racism in Public Schools

Recent data from the Gallup Center on Black Voices indicate that more than three in four Americans support curricula that teach students about the current impacts of racism.

Six HBCUs Receive Funding for Historic Preservation of Campus Buildings

Six historically Black colleges and universities are receiving grants from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historial Preservation to preserve historic buildings on campus.

Study Seeks to Fill in the Gaps in African American Ancestral History

The 1870 federal census recorded formerly enslaved African Americans by name, and though it is a vital tool for genealogical research, many African Americans are still not able to trace their family members to or beyond this document. A new study attempts to shed some light on the ancestral history of African Americans prior to 1870.

Huge Number of the Nation’s Political Leaders Have Director Ancestors Who Enslaved People

New research by Reuters has found that of the 536 members of the current U.S. Congress, at least 100 have ancestors who had ties to the institution of slavery. More than one quarter of all U.S. Senators have an ancestor who enslaved at least one person. Two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and 11 of the nation's 50 governors had ancestors who were involved in slavery.

Huge Number of the Nation’s Political Leaders Have Direct Ancestors Who Enslaved People

New research by Reuters has found that of the 536 members of the current U.S. Congress, at least 100 have ancestors who had ties to the institution of slavery. More than one quarter of all U.S. Senators have an ancestor who enslaved at least one person. Two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and 11 of the nation's 50 governors had ancestors who were involved in slavery.

Eleven Colleges and Universities Receive Grants Relating to Blacks From the National Archives

Recently the National Archives announced 47 grants totaling $6,510,701 for projects in 27 states and the District of Columbia to improve public access to historical records. Many of these grants relate to African Americans.

New Africana Studies Fellowship Created at Georgia State University

The department of Africana studies at Georgia State University has announced the establishment of the Jacqueline Rouse-Doris Derby Africana Studies Fellowship program. The program honors two women who played a significant role in the development of the Africana studies program at the university.

Johns Hopkins University Obtains an Archive of Materials on the Early Life of Billy...

The new collection includes the earliest known photo of Billie Holiday—a posed studio shot taken in 1917 when she was 2 years old — ephemera such as programs from clubs, hand-written set lists, and a grocery shopping list. The collection also includes 140 taped interviews with friends and colleagues of Holiday.

Yale University Awards Degrees to Two of its First Students

James W. C. Pennington (1808-1870) and Alexander Crummell (1819-1898) studied at Yale from 1834 to 1837 and 1840 to 1841, respectively. Because they were Black, however, the university did not allow them to register formally for classes or matriculate for a degree. They could not participate in classroom discussions or access library resources.

The University of South Carolina’s First Building Named to Honor an African American

The University of South Carolina has renamed a residence hall to honor Celia Dial Saxon, who was born enslaved in 1857 but later had a 57-year career as an educator in South Carolina. Saxon attended the Normal School on the University of South Carolina campus when it was integrated during Reconstruction.

Bryn Mawr College Removes the Name of Its Racist Former President From Its Library...

Martha Carey Thomas was the second president of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She was a graduate of Cornell University and earned a Ph.D....

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Acquires Massive Photographic Archival of Black History

The Roland L. Freeman Collection is a massive compilation of assignment and project work from a career that spans more than 50 years of documenting Black communities, public figures, and folk art and artisans. It consists of nearly 24,000 slides, 10,000 photographic prints, 400,000 negatives, and 9,000 contact sheets.

Scholars Enhance FBI Photographs From Bloody Sunday

Photographs taken by FBI photographers from the ground and in surveillance aircraft were declassified in 2015, but have never been enlarged and enhanced via hi-resolution scans until now. A major question is why these photographs remained classified for 50 years.

A Photograph Is Discovered of the First Black Graduate of Yale College

For many years, it was believed that Edward Bouchet was the first Black graduate of Yale College in 1874. But nine years ago, new research discovered that Richard Henry Greene of the Class of 1857 was the first Black graduate. Now a photograph of Dr. Greene has been discovered.

Rice University to Relocate Statue of Its White Supremacist Founder

The board of trustees of Rice University has decided the statue of William Marsh Rice will no longer be at the center of the Academic Quadrangle and will be presented with historical context and information about the university’s founder, including his ownership of enslaved people.

Pomona College Receives the Personal Archives of Myrlie Evers-Williams

The collection, containing thousands of items focuses on her life after moving to California in 1964 after the assassination of her husband Medgar Evers. The Mississippi state archives are home to the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, covering their early years in that state.

Columbia University to Acquire the Archives of Composer and Educator Tania León

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York has announced that it will acquire the archives of Tania León, the noted composer, conductor, and educator. Her orchestral work Stride, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in celebration of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

College of William and Mary to Digitize Records of Early African American Churches

The Special Collections Research Center of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has partnered with several Black churches in Williamsburg to add their church records to the library’s special collections. One is the First Baptist Church, one of the country’s earliest African-American congregations that was founded by free and enslaved African Americans in 1776.

East Tennessee State University Has Digitized a Collection of Black History in Appalachia

The Langston Heritage Group Collection includes a wealth of historical information about Black churches, schools, civic clubs, and organizations throughout Washington County, Tennessee from the end of the Civil War to the present. It was donated to the university in 2000 but has now been digitized and made available to researchers and the public.

The University Consortium on Afro-Latin American Studies Will Examine Western Hemisphere Slavery

Of the 10.7 million Africans who survived the Middle Passage, 4.9 million were taken to Brazil, another 1 million arrived in Jamaica, and millions more were taken to various islands in the Caribbean. A new collaboration between Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh and four universities in Latin America will study slavery throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Four African Americans Receive Significant Honors From Louisiana State University

The School of Education and the Graduate School will be renamed to honor African Americans students who broke racial barriers at the university. The Design Building is being renamed for the university's first Black professor.

University of Kentucky Has Allocated Funds to Remove Controversial Mural From Memorial Hall

During the Great Depression, Ann Rice O’Hanlon painted a 38 feet wide, 11 feet tall mural on Kentucky history in the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Hall. The mural depicted enslaved African Americans hunched in a field, Black musicians playing for White dancers, and a Native American threatening a White settler with a tomahawk.

Brown University Honors Its First Black Woman Doctoral Recipient

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, is renaming its Graduate School diversity fellow in honor of the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from the university. The Mae Belle Williamson Simmons Diversity Fellowships will honor the legacy of a trailblazing Providence native who earned a Ph.D. in 1962 and made a lasting impact on the field of child psychology.

Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center Acquires Notable Archives of Black History

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has announced that it has acquired the African Market Literature Collection and the papers of Masood Ali-Wilbert Warren, a Black American painter, sculptor, and Korean war Army veteran.

Southern University Ends 50-Year Campus Ban of Students Who Mounted a Protest in 1972

On November 16, 1972, student protesters were confronted with tear gas canisters that they threw back at police. During an ensuing melee, two students were shot and killed. Four student leaders were arrested, expelled from the university, and banned from campus. The ban has now been lifted.

Georgetown Creates New Fund to Benefit Descendants of People Enslaved by the University

The Reconciliation Fund has begun accepting applications for projects that aim to benefit communities of the descendants of people enslaved and sold by the university, many of whom live in and around Maringouin, Louisiana, where their ancestors were sold and forcibly moved to in 1838. The university plans to allocate $400,000 annually to the effort.

Western Kentucky University Honors Its First Black Student

Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green has renamed a campus building to honor its first Black graduate. A residence hall on campus now bears the name of Margaret Munday, who was the first Black student to enroll at the university in 1956 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music and elementary education in 1960.

Iowa State University Planning a Year-Long Celebration Honoring Jack Trice

Jack Trice was the first African American to play intercollegiate sports at Iowa State University. A student of animal husbandry, Trice suffered severe injuries in his second collegiate football game against the University of Minnesota and died two days later on October 8, 1923. He was 21 years old.

University of South Carolina Partners With the National Park Service on Civil Rights History

Under a five-year agreement with the park service, the center will expand its existing work in civil rights education and scholarly research, including support for exhibits and programming at South Carolina sites in the African American Civil Rights Network.

University of Richmond Changes Name of Its Law School Due to Benefactor’s Ties to...

The T.C. Williams School of Law will now be known as the University of Richmond School of Law. Williams was a student and later a trustee of the then-named Richmond College. He personally enslaved three individuals and his business enslaved dozens more.

Getty Images Launches a New Black History Archive for Educators and Scholars

The collection aims to grant free non-commercial access to rarely seen historical and cultural images of the African/Black Diaspora in the United States and the United Kingdom from the nineteenth century to the present day to educators, academics, researchers, and content creators.

University of Michigan Compiles a Vast Database of Its Early Black Students

A new public database of African American students created by the University of Michigan documents students who attended the university between 1817 and as recently as 1970. The database contains information on nearly 6,000 African American students.

University of Cincinnati Removes Name of Founding Benefactor From Campus

Charles McMicken left a bequest of real estate to the City of Cincinnati that led to the founding in 1870 of the University of Cincinnati. McMicken traded in enslaved persons and fathered two children with enslaved women.

Eastern Illinois University Renames a Residence Hall to Honor Two African Americans

Zella Powell is believed to be the university’s first Black graduate, earning a degree from Eastern State Normal School in 1910. Ona Norton was the matriarch of a Black family in Charleston, Illinois, who housed Black student athletes in the 1950s who were not permitted to live on campus.

Prairie View A&M University Seeks to Rediscover Its Lost History

Prairie View A&M University is located on land that once was a plantation that housed 400 enslaved individuals. Many of the historically Black university's historical records were lost in a 1947 fire. Now a new committee has been formed to piece together the university's past.

University of Michigan to Examine Its History Relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The University of Michigan is set to begin a multifaceted, years-long project to study, document, and better understand the university’s history with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion — with the history of race and racism as its first major focus.

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