February 2022: Black History

Note: The Journal of American History has curated their own list of JAH articles that discuss Black history. Their extensive list of articles can be found here.

Civil Rights 

  1. 1968: Looking Back Part One, and Part Two, by John T. McCartney, Julian Bond, James Farrell, and Ira Chernus (Talking History, Nov. and Dec. 1998).
    • A reflection looking back 30 years to the events of 1968 and how far America had come. Part one also features a commentary by Julian Bond, historian, activist, and distinguished scholar in residence at American University, on the rise of Black Power. Part Two also features a commentary by Ira Chernus of the University of Colorado-Boulder on questioning the nuclear myth.
  2. A Historical Tour of Civil Rights Sites of the 50s and 60s, by David Townsend and John H. Summers (Talking History, Aug. 1998).
    • A list and description of core civil rights sites as well as a commentary by John H. Summers, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rochester, on the “The Politics of Civility.” 
  3. Martin Luther King Day, by Clayborne Carson and James Farrell (Talking History, Jan. 2000).
    • A talk with Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Papers Project and editor of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. The program contains an op-ed by James Farrell on the religious roots of the Civil Rights movement. 
  4. African American Educational Traditions and the Challenge of Desegregation, by Ansley Erickson (Process History, April 2017).
    • An article analyzing the continuity of segregation and its continued challenges for students of color across the United States. 
  5. New African American History Museum Carries on a Radical Museum Tradition, by Andrea Burns (Process History, Oct. 2016).
    • An analysis of the opening of the NMAAHC and how “the NMAAHC intends for all of us to carry on the hard and gloriously cacophonous work of freedom building.” 
  6. The Troubled History of American Education after the Brown Decision, by Sonya Ramsey (Process History, Feb. 2017).
    • A history of how integration of schools didn’t actually happen until much later after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. 
  7. Protest and Punishment in Rural North Carolina, by Crystal R. Sanders (Process History, Dec. 2018).
    • A history of Klan based backlash and white anxiety over the Civil Rights Movement through a case study in North Carolina. 
  8. Toward Black Higher Education in 1968, by Stefan Bradley (Process History, Dec. 2018).
    • The narrative of 1968, perhaps the twentieth century’s most tumultuous year, must highlight the Black Freedom Movement and the social awakening of students that occurred in colleges and universities.
  9. The Coleman Report and Its Critics: The Contested Meanings of Educational Equality in the 1960s and 1970s, by Leah Gordon (Process History, March 2017).
    • For scholars and educators hoping to promote educational equality today, the controversies surrounding the Coleman Report provide warnings: about the political dangers of theoretical ambiguity; the ways narrow visions of scientific authority can limit scholarly agendas; and the persistent American tendency to ask education to solve social problems—poverty, inequality, and racial hierarchy chief among them—that schooling has a difficult time alleviating alone.
  10. Humanistic VIsions: The Long History of Black HIstory Month, by Stephen G. Hall (Process History, Feb. 2017).
    • An analysis of the fight toward Black History Month from Negro History Week to the museum movement to the #CharlestonSyllabus movement. 
  11. A Colorblind Campus? White Evangelical Colleges and Black Students in the Era of Civil Rights, by Jesse Curtis (Process History, March 2019).
    • A history of how white evangelical colleges responded to civil rights, from mass recruitment, to racial crisis upon arrival, to arguing that Black student demands for equality damaged Cristian unity. 
  12. A History We Can Use: “Freedom Politics” for “We the People”, by Emily Crosby (The American Historian, June 2020).
    • Emily Crosby shows how to use the digital resource, “A Documents-Based Lesson on the Voting Rights Act: A Case Study of SNCC’s Work in Lowndes County and the Emergence of Black Power” in the classroom.
  13. Between Contending Forces: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the African American Freedom Struggle, by Clayborne Carson (OAH Magazine of History, Jan. 2005).
    • A look at how Martin Luther King Jr. navigated different factions that contended for more extreme action vs. those who advocated for more moderate action during the course of the civil rights movement.
  14. African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia, by Lisa Levenstein (OAH Magazine of History, Jan. 2012).
    • An examination of how African American women struggled to secure public assistance in Philadelphia.

Slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim-Crow 

  1. Black History, by Ira Berlin and Howard Jones (Talking History, Feb. 1999).
    • A look back at slavery in an interview with Ira Berlin, professor of history at the the University of Maryland and author of several award winning books on slavery, including his latest Many Thousand Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. The op-ed is by Howard Jones, on whether congress should offer an apology for slavery. Jones is author of Mutiny on the Amistad which provided historical background for the film, Amistad
  2. Civil War: Part I, Part II,Part III,Part IV, by Louis Masur, Jean Edward Smith, William J. Cooper Jr., and Bruce Cadwick (Talking History, March 2002)
    • Part One of the four-part series on the Civil War. Historian Louis Masur looks at the year 1831 and why he considers it a pivotal one in the Civil War. Masur is a professor of history at the City College of New York and author of 1831: Year of Eclipse.
    • Part Two is A look at the life of Ulysses S. Grant, a national hero and two term president, with biographer Jean Edward Smith. Smith is a professor of political science at Marshall University and author of Grant, recognized by the New York Times as one of the most distinguished books of 2001.
    • Part Three: William J. Cooper Jr., looks at the life of Jefferson Davis. Cooper is Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University. His book on Jefferson Davis, Jefferson Davis, American, received the 2001 Los Angeles Times’ Book Award for best biography.
    • The last segment of the Civil War series looks at the impact of movies on American’s view of History with Bruce Chadwick, a former editor at New York Daily News. Chadwick lectures on history and film at Rutgers University. In his book The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film, Chadwick asserts that two of the biggest American box office hits have been the Civil War epics, Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind.
  3. Race and Reunion, by David Blight (Talking History, Oct. 2001).
    • We take a look at myths and legends surrounding the American Civil War with Amherst College professor David Blight. Blight is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.
  4. Slave Petitions, by Loren Schweninger and William Freehling (Talking History, Oct. 2001).
    • Historian Loren Schweninger talks about his latest project involving slave petitions, The Southern Debate Over Slavery: Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1777–1864. Schweninger is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.The commentary by William Freehling talks about southern anti-Confederates, black and white, who contributed to the defeat of the South. Freehling is Singletary Endowed Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. 
  5. Runaway Slaves, by John Hope Frankling and Loren Schweninger (Talking History, Feb. 2000).
    • A talk with historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger about their book Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. This program contains no op-ed.
  6. The African American Experience in Rural Maryland, Virginia, and Eastern West Virginia, 1865-1900, by National Parks Services (NPS, 2022).
    • Reports, Case Studies, Primary Sources, Photographs, and other information to assist lesson plans on African American lives and experiences in the rural east coast during the reconstruction era. 
  7. Buffalo Soldiers, by Frank Schubert (Talking History, Feb. 1998). 
  8. Juneteenth and Beyond: African American Emancipation Celebration Since 1808, by Wilma King (Process History, June 2019).
    • A history surrounding the Juneteenth holiday and other similar celebrations. 
  9. Why the Portuguese Restoration of 1640 Matters to the History of American Slavery, by J. M. Opal (Process History, May 2019).
    • Research tracing the history of American slavery back to its roots in the Carribbean. 
  10. Finding Runaway Slaves: Freedom on the Move and the Databasing of Fugitive Slave Advertisements from North American Newspapers, by Joshua D. Rothman, Mary Niall Mitchell, and Edward E. Baptist (Process History, June 2016)
    • Most historians of chattel slavery looking for detailed information about individual enslaved people have turned to a familiar constellation of sources: nineteenth-century slave narratives, the Ex-Slave Narratives gathered in the 1930s and 1940s by the Works Progress Administration, plantation records, and legal documents. We hope that this is about to change, by bringing new and existing digital techniques to a type of narrative that ran daily on the pages of American newspapers from the eighteenth century until the Civil War: the fugitive slave advertisement.
  11. Justene G. Hill Shares Her Course “Representing American Slavery,” by Justene G. Hill (Process History, April 2015).
    • A detailed look at developing and teaching a course on American Slavery. 
  12. The Entitlements of Freedom: A Mother’s Pursuit of Mastery in the Antebellum South, by Alisha J. Hines (Process HIstory, Jan. 2018).
    • Through the case study of Margaret Davis, Hines explores how Black women used antebellum courts to sue for freedom and manipulate the law to assert protection over their bodies and their families. 
  13. Remembering Reconstruction: The Memphis Massacre of 1866, by Beverly Bond and Susan Eva O’Donovan (Process History, Oct. 2016).
    • Teachers discuss the long project of reshaping narratives around reconstruction by centering the Memphis Massacre. 
  14. Understanding Black Religion and Politics in the Age of Emancipation, by Matt Harper (The American Historian, Nov. 2018).
    • This article discusses how Black Christians used Christian traditions and stories to fight for emancipation.
  15. Rethinking the Role of the Courts in the Lives of Black Southerners, by Mellissa Milewski (The American Historian, Nov. 2017).
    • This article examines how Black Southerns used law and the courts to their advantage in the Reconstruction South and how they negotiated a white-dominated institution under enormous constraints.
  16. Slave Consumption in the Old South: A Double-Edged Sword, by Kathleen Hilliard (The American Historian, May 2017).
    • This article examines how slaves earned money and their consumption habits.
  17. The African American Great Migration Reconsidered, by Sarah-Jane (Saje) Mathieu (OAH Magazine of History, Oct. 2009).
    • A examination of the long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and the reasons for the migration. Includes images for lecture.

African History 

  1. The (African) American Missionary Movement in Africa in the Early 20th Century, by Elisabeth Engel (Process History, Aug. 2017).
    • Acknowledging this longstanding interest in industrial education and ideas of the “American Negro” as a missionary among American missionaries and colonial governments helps historians to challenge the often implicit presumption that the ideas and people that the Western missionary movement circulated were—or were thought of as having to be—white. 
  2. African Religions in U.S. Courts, by Daniell N. Boaz (Process History, Aug. 2017).
    • An analysis of the various Religious Freedoms and Restrictions faced by practitioners of African religions and their battles in United States courts. 
  3. Africa in the American Imagination, by David Peterson Del Mar (Process History, Aug. 2017).
    • A history of the representation of Africans in film and literature in the United States. 
  4. US/Africa Relations, by Salih Booker (Talking History, Feb. 2002).
    • For much of the last half century, the United States has ranked as one of the great powers in the international system. Salih Booker, director of Africa Action, talks about the little known history of US/Africa Relations.
  5. Balancing Mobutu with Tutu: Teaching “Africa” in U.S. History Classes, by Andy DeRoche (Proces History, Aug. 2017).
    • DeRoche explores how to teach balanced history of U.S. Foreign relations with Africa, and African issues, in the U.S. history survey without perpetuating narratives of American Exceptionalism or  infantilizing and vilanzing the continent. 
  6. On Afrocentric History in American Education, by Jon Hale (Process History, March 2017).
    • Ensuring that Afrocentric history is an integral part of our curriculum at all levels of education and connecting it to the current political and economic context continues the work of actualizing radical institutional reform.

The State, Violence, and Police Brutality

  1. George Floyd and the End of American Hegemony, by Jonathan Wiesen (Process History, Sept. 2020).
    • A trans-national analysis of racial solidarity and protesting of Police Brutality at home and abroad. 
  2. Black Lives (and) Matter: George Zimmerman’s Gun and Artifacts of Racial Violence in American History, by Cameron B. Strang (Process History, May 2016).
    • A history of collections of objects of racial violence and why the Smithsonian has chosen not to acquire Zimmerman’s gun. 
  3. Ferguson, USA: A Historian’s Collision with History, Part One,Part Two, by Stefan M. Bradley (Process History, June 2015).
    • A two part series including student activists from Saint Louis University interviewed and writing about their experience with civil rights and the events in Furgeson, MO. 
  4. Black Women, Police Violence, and Gentrification, by Anne Gray Fischer (Process History, Sept. 2020)
    • Fischer looks at the history of Black Women’s activism fighting police violence in the wake of the murder of Breonna Taylor to argue it is not new. This is also a history of policing. 
  5. The Tulsa Riot, by Alfred Brophy (Talking History, Dec. 2002).
    • In 1921 a black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma was accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. The charge sparked one of the worst riots in US history – which was all but lost to history until publication of Reconstructing the Dreamland by Alfred Brophy, our guest this week, on Talking History.
  6. Teaching in the Wake of Charlottesville (Process History, Oct. 2017)
    • A round table discussion with Jarred Amato, Beverly Bunch-Lyons, Michael Dickinson, Emily Farris, Kevin Gannon, Nyasha Junior, and Heather Cox Richardson about how to teach in the wake of rising acts of white supremacist violence.
  7. “The Impotence of Nonviolence: Understanding the Utility of Force in the Black Lives Matter Movement,” by Kellie Jackson (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • This essay shows how Black abolitionists embraced force and violence “because decades of nonviolent organizing, demonstrations, and moral suasion failed to protect black people and failed to produce liberation.”
  8. Tracking Activists: The FBI’s Surveillance of Black Women Activists Then and Now, by Ashley D. Farmer (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • This piece shows that “under the watch of multiple presidents and Attorneys General the government has engaged in decades-long surveillance and harassment campaigns against Black activists that began with the creation of the Bureau of Investigation in 1908.”
  9. #SayHerName: Black Women, State Sanctioned Violence & Resistance, by LaShawn Harris (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • This essay shows that “African American women and girls have experienced a long and painful history of police brutality. Like African American men and boys, police terror, in its varying and insidious forms, was an occupying force in women’s everyday lives.”
  10. An American Tradition, by Ashley Howard (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • Ashley Howard’s essay maps the range of protest expression to explore in part how “violent revolts represent a microcosm of our communities, capturing the web of intersectional identities in various social hierarchies.” Howard argues that “an individual’s decision whether to participate and what that participation looks like reflects their regional, gendered, racial, and class identities most acutely.” Howard’s work shows that while there are clear parallels between today’s uprisings and those of decades prior, a new era of antiracist activism dawns.
  11. Anti-Black Violence, African American Memory, and the Trayvon Generation, by Shannon King (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • Shannon King’s essay moves through the layers of deaths that have shaped various generations to present powerful models for teaching. He approaches this by “centering the uneven battle between anti-Black violence and Black resistance as prelude of Black uprisings” while simultaneously “spotlighting the problematic of cross-generational anti-Black violence and the long history of racial injustice found in the criminal justice system.” His essay explores historical memory and trauma in the process and offers meaningful assignments and questions to spark important dialogs.

Music, Film, Literature, and Culture. 

  1. Billie Holiday Strange Fruit, by David Margolick (Talking History, Feb. 2002).
    • A look at the song, Strange Fruit, made famous by singer Billie Holiday about lynching in the South. Margolick is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine and author of Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society and an Early Cry for Civil Rights. 
  2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Joan Hedrick (Talking History, Feb. 2002).
    • March, 2002 marks the 150th anniversary of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and historian Joan Hedrick talks about the book and its author. Hedrick is a professor of history at Trinity College and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life.
  3. Rhythm and Blues, by Brian Ward and Jon Cruz (Talking History, Feb. 2000).
    • A talk with historian Brian Ward about his book, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations. The program contains an op-ed by sociologist Jon Cruz on the discovery of black music by 19th century elites and how that shaped 19th and 20th century American attitudes toward black music and culture.
  4. Amistad: The Ship and the Movie, by Howard Jones (Talking History, Jan. 1998). 
  5. Of African Princes and Hidden Treasures, by Jeannette Eileen Jones (Process History, Aug. 2017).
    • Bringing the movie Black Panther in conversation with other African American representation in film. 
  6. Beyond Harriet: African American Women’s Work in the Underground Railroad, by Jazma Sutton (Process History, Oct. 2019)
    • In the wake of the film surrounding Harriet Tubman of “one of America’s greatest heroes,” Sutton wants to expand the scope of recognition to the other Black Women who were essential to the success of the Underground Railroad and are largely ignored by history. 
  7. Innocence Betrayed: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Deep Roots of White Supremacy, by Donald Yacovone (Process History, Aug. 2018).
    • An analysis of how children’s literature is not immune from the influence of white supremacy may give teachers a second thought about what texts they teach in classrooms. 
  8. Reclaiming and Reimagining Africa as the Motherland in Hip Hop, by Erica Hill-Yates (Process History, Aug. 2017).
    • An analysis of Hip Hop as a cultural form of not just self expression but community empowerment and connection that reveals narratives about the realities of Black life in America. 
  9. Raising Cain, by William Lhamon and John David Smith (Talking History, Sept. 2000).
    • A talk with professor William Lhamon about the history of American blackface minstrel performances. The program contains an op-ed about the racist statements of William Hannibal Thomas, by John David Smith, author of Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro”.
  10. Why Hair Matters, by Beth Bailey (Process History, April 2020)
    • A history of Afros and the racism surrounding traditional African American hair styles.  
  11. African American Filmic Artifacts from Body and Soul to Black Panther, by Lisa Alexander (The American Historian, Dec. 2019).
    • This article takes a look at the history of African Americans in film, both films produced by African Americans and depictions of African Americans in film.
  12. Soul Salsa, by Tyina Steptoe (The American Historian, Feb. 2019).
    • This article examines the cross-influence of Latin and African American musical traditions.
  13. Black Christmas in American Department Stores, by Traci Parker (The American Historian, Nov. 2018)
    • This article examines how Black shoppers used the threat of boycott around the holiday season to dismantle racist hiring practices. African Americans also promoted shopping at Black-owned stores.


  1. African American Golfers, by Marvin Dawkins and Scott Juengel (Talking History, March 2001).
    • A talk with University of Miami professor Marvin Dawkins, co-author of African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era. The program contains an op-ed by former golf pro Scott Juengel about Lee Elder’s breakthrough for African Americans in professional golf. 
  2. No More Games: Understanding the Latest Wave of Athletic Activism, by Amira Rose Davis (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • Amira Rose Davis shows that before Colin Kaepernick took to the knee, bravely calling attention to anti-Black police brutality, his actions were preceded by decades and decades of Black athletic protest—by professional sports players and also by students at the collegiate level. Davis’s work also charts how university administrations changed policies and rules to undermine students’ demonstrations.


  1. Chautauqua, II, by Charles Pace (Talking History, April 2001).
    1. Booker T. Washington: In the second program of our Chautauqua series, a talk with Booker T. Washington…as performed by Charles Pace. 
  2. Affirmative Action, by Todd Jones and Linda Gordon (Talking History Sept. 2000).
    • A talk with Todd Jones, philosophy professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and co-editor of the book Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Reverse Discriminaton? The program contains an op-ed about welfare by professor Linda Gordon. 
  3. “Have We a New Sex Problem Here?” Black Queer Women in the Early Great Migration, by Cookie Woolner (Process History, Oct. 2017).
    • An analysis of Black Queer lives in Chicago in the early 20th century. 
  4. Federal Segregation and Gold Star Mothers (Process HIstory, Oct. 2017).
    • An interview with Frances Clarke and Rebecca Jo Plant about their article  “‘The Crowning Insult’: Federal Segregation and the Gold Star Mother and Widow Pilgrimages of the Early 1930s” from the JAH. 
  5. The Racial Wealth Gap and the Problem of Historical Narration, by Destin Jenkins (Process History, June 2017).
    • A history of the racial wealth gap and why discussing racialized capitalism is necessary for historical timelines of wealth inequality. 
  6. The Black Pacific Narrative, by Etusko Taketani (Process History, Nov. 2015).
    • An Interview with Etsuko Taketani about her book  The Black Pacific Narrative: Geographic Imaginings of Race and Empire between the World Wars
  7. The Struggle to End Racism is Global, by Keisha N. Blain (The American Historian, Sept. 2020).
    • This essay argues that Black activists understood that challenging racism and white supremacy was a global endeavor. African Americans understood white supremacy as a corrosive impacting their lives and also decried it in racist immigration policies like those that targeted Asian immigrants. Black internationalist organizations sought coalitions aimed at constructing a global assault on white supremacy—believing this would ultimately strengthen resistance movements at home.
  8. The History of Black Girls and the Field of Black Girlhood Studies: At the Forefront of Academic Scholarship, by Crystal Lynn Webster (The American Historian, March 2020).
    • This essay shows that “Black women became founding contributors of what has developed into an entire field devoted to the life and meaning of black girlhood” and “in many ways, black women and girls are responsible for the recorded history of African American childhood in early America.”
  9. The Jim Crow-era Black press: Of and for its Readership, by Carrie Teresa (The American Historian, Aug. 2018).
    • This article examines Black-owned presses during the time of Jim Crow and their importance to the African American community.
  10. Making Race Visible in the Disaster Archive, by Richard M. Mizelle Jr. (The American Historian, Feb. 2018).
    • This article looks at the lack of traditional archival sources on minority groups such as African Americans following natural disasters, such as the 1927 Mississippi flood, and shows ways historians can uncover previously hidden voices.
  11. The Courtship Season: Love, Race, and Elite African American Women at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, by Eleanor Alexander (OAH Magazine of History, July 2004)
    • A look at the nature of love, relationships, and marriage among elite African Amerian women.