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 …
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 …
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 …
Gregory S. Parks and Stefan M. Bradley (’98 MA History)
University Press of Kentucky
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 …
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 …
Bill Gaskins says he knows exactly when Felicia Cornwall fell in love with him. On a snowy day in 1963, the two were walking arm-in-arm along WSU’s Hello Walk.
Felicia, a sophomore from Tacoma, was taking mincing steps through the icy slush when Bill, a freshman from Spokane, told her she needed to be more bold.
“Look Felicia, you need to stride like this,” he said, stepping forward with the athletic gait of a running back, which he was. At that exact moment his feet flew out from under him and he landed on his backside.
Bill is laughing, filling the room with his deep … » More …