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African Americans

Book - Briefly Noted
Winter 2018

Briefly Noted

 

Freedom’s Racial Frontier: African Americans in the Twentieth-Century West

Edited by Herbert G. Ruffin II and Dwayne A. Mack ’02 PhD History

University of Oklahoma Press: 2018

Between 1940 and 2010, the black population of the American West grew from 710,400 to 7 million. With that explosive growth has come a burgeoning interest in the history of the African American West—an interest reflected in the range and depth of the works collected in Freedom’s Racial Frontier that link past, current, and future generations of African American West scholarship. The West is revealed as a place where black Americans have fought—and continue to fight—to make … » More …

Gladys Cooper Jennings
Fall 2018

Being best

A 9-year-old slave girl fanned her young mistress to keep the flies off her while she learned her lessons. Because she picked up enough education to be able to read and write a little, she ended up teaching other slaves and ex-slaves.

Her daughter became a schoolteacher, married to a Presbyterian minister in segregated Columbus, Ohio. The couple passed on the family mantras to their children: “You must get an education to get ahead” and “you must be a credit to our race.”

Their children, the second generation born free, took the advice to heart, attending college and becoming teachers and professionals. One of them, … » More …

Covers of Hip Hop Ain’t Dead: It’s Livin’ in the White House and Playing While White
Spring 2018

Hip Hop Ain’t Dead and Playing While White

Covers of Hip Hop Ain’t Dead: It’s Livin’ in the White House and Playing While White

Hip Hop Ain’t Dead: It’s Livin’ in the White House

Sanford Richmond ’11 PhD

Mill City Press: 2016

 

Playing While White: Privilege and Power On and Off the Field

David J. Leonard

University of Washington Press: 2017

 

During his undergraduate years at the University of Southern California, writes Sanford Richmond in Hip Hop Ain’t Dead, “I began to … » More …

Carl Maxey (Courtesy Gonzaga University)
Winter 2015

Black Spokane

Dwayne Mack was, to say the least, skeptical when his faculty mentor at Washington State University, LeRoy Ashby, suggested he write his doctoral dissertation on Spokane’s black history.

“I thought to myself, ‘Wow, every time we pay a visit to Spokane, we rarely even see black people,’” recalls Mack, who was brought up in Brooklyn and received his master’s degree from a historically black college, North Carolina Central University. “There couldn’t be enough black people to do a study.”

Then he started researching Spokane’s African-American history and realized he had “struck gold.” Spokane’s African-American community was small—historically averaging between 1 and 2 percent of Spokane’s … » More …

New and Noteworthy
Winter 2014

New & noteworthy

 

After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness

David J. Leonard

SUNY Press, 2012

After a brawl at a Pistons-Pacers game in 2004, the NBA adopted policies to govern black players and prevent them from embracing styles and personas associated with blackness. This book by Leonard, associate professor of critical culture, gender, and race studies at Washington State University, discloses connections between the NBA’s discourse and the broader discourse of anti-black racism.

 

Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages

Timothy A. Kohler (editor), Mark D. Varien (editor)

University of California Press, 2012

This book examines how climate change, population size, interpersonal conflict, resource … » More …

Alpha Phi Alpha
Winter 2012

Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence

Alpha Phi Alpha

Gregory S. Parks and Stefan M. Bradley (’98 MA History)

University Press of Kentucky

2012

Alpha Phi Alpha is the only black fraternity to be founded at an Ivy League school. Starting at Cornell in 1906, its founders were just a generation away from slavery and intent on creating an organization to foster academic scholarship, build lifelong friendships, and promote social progress. The organization soon opened chapters at Harvard, Howard, and Virginia Union … » More …

William Julius Wilson
Fall 2012

Race, Class, and William Julius Wilson’s World of Opportunity

In the middle of the last century, a Tennessee preacher-turned-sociologist, Tolbert H. Kennedy, found a relatively untapped pool of doctoral students among the nation’s black college graduates. Between 1944 and 1965, when Washington State University barely had a few dozen black students, he and fellow ex-preacher Wallis Beasley helped produce more black doctors of sociology than all but two schools, the University of Chicago and Ohio State.

Among them was a young man who went from the hardscrabble coal country of western Pennsylvania to graduate first in his class at Wilberforce, the oldest black college in the country, and get a master’s degree at Bowling … » More …