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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Cornell University Fellowship Honors The First Black Student to Earn a Ph.D. in...

The Thomas Wyatt Turner Fellowship will support up to 10 graduate students from 1890 institutions, which are historically Black colleges and universities that are land-grant universities. They will spend the 2022-23 academic year on the Cornell University campus.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Morgan State University Museum Added to the National Register of Historic Places

In 1935, Lillie Jackson was elected president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. Under her leadership, the NAACP membership rose from less than 200 in 1935 to over 25,000 by 1946. She remained president until 1970. Her home was made into a museum and later ownership was transferred to Morgan State University,

Howard University Completing Work on the Renovation of the Home of Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell's home at 326 T Street NW in Washington, D.C. was built in 1894. She and her husband Robert Heberton Terrell, an educator and law professor at Howard University occupied the home between 1899 and 1913. In accordance with Terrell's wishes, the home was bestowed to Howard University in 1987. With the help of a federal grant, the home is now being restored.

Berkeley Professor to Design Emory University’s Memorial to the Enslaved

In 2021, Emory University announced plans to develop memorials on its Atlanta and Oxford campuses to honor the enslaved individuals who are part of Emory’s history. The university has selected the Hood Design Studio of Oakland, California to develop plans for the memorials.

University of South Carolina Celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Enrollment of Its First...

Most people believe that the first Black students admitted to flagship state universities in the South occurred in the early 1960s. But this is not the case. Henry E. Hayne, the son of an enslaved woman and a White planter, enrolled at the University of South Carolina in 1873.

Black Students Who Integrated the Mississippi University for Women Honored

African American undergraduate students Diane Hardy, Barbara Turner and Laverne Greene, and graduate students Jacqueline Edwards, Mary Flowers and Eula Houser, stepped foot on the campus of Mississippi University for Women in 1966, facing all manner of ridicule to open the door for future generations of African American students.

Harvard University Establishes the Black Teacher Archive

The archive consists of journals and newsletters created by members of Colored Teachers Associations that captured the political and social efforts of Black educators’ activism from the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights Movement. The old journals and bulletins chronicle the acts of resistance in places where Black educators fought against injustice in education under Jim Crow.

Davidson College Decides to Keep the Name of an Enslaver on a Main Campus...

Davidson College in North Carolina has decided not to rename Chambers Building, the main academic structure on campus. The building is named for Maxwell Chambers who made a contribution to the college in 1855 that allowed the educational institution to continue operations. He also donated five enslaved people to the college.

Harvard Announces a Grant Program to Address Systemic Inequities for Descendants of Slavery

The Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Initiative will offer annual funding up to $350,000 for long-term projects and $25,000 for smaller projects that address systemic inequities for descendants of slavery.

University of Southern Mississippi to Double Its Digital Archive of Civil Rights Era Oral...

The University of Southern Mississippi recently received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize its collection of oral histories and make them available to the public. At the present time, many of the oral histories are on reel-to-reel or cassette tapes.

“Civil Rights in a Northern City:” Temple University Debuts New Online Archive

The online collection includes more than 1,500 items including newsreel footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that previously has not publicly available.

Arizona State University Honors Its First Black Football Player

In 1937 Emerson Harvey was the first Black player at ASU. His presence on the football team at the university served to play a major role in the racial integration of college sports in the southwest.

Emory Opens New Archive of African American History to Researchers

The family papers of artist and civil rights activist Edwin Harleston and his wife, photographer Elise Harlston, have been fully archived and are now available to researchers at the university's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

1805 Bill of Sale for Three Slaves Donated to Duke University

The bill of sale lists three slaves, Elizabeth, a 20-year-old woman and her daughter Harriet who was six months old. A third slave Delilah, aged 14, was also included. The three slaves were sold for a total of $493.

Emory University Acquires the Papers of Ophelia DeVore Mitchell

Ophelia DeVore Mitchell was the founder of one of the first modeling agencies for African Americans and a pioneer in the "Black Is Beautiful" movement. Now over 90 years of age, she continues to own and help run an African American newspaper.

University of South Carolina Creates Exhibit to Honor Its First Black Faculty Member

The University of South Carolina has recently acquired and placed on displayed the law school diploma of Richard Theodore Greener its first Black faculty member who taught philosophy, Greek, and Latin during the Reconstruction period.

Historical Milestone at St. Augustine’s University

Nita Charlene Johnson Byrd is the first woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest in St. Augustine University's chapel and the first woman to serve as chaplain of the university.

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