Category: African American History

A Retired Postal Worker’s Tax Day Recollections

From Mississippi to Manhattan, I learned that African American postal workers’ decades-long challenge to the post office and postal union status quo–that for years included segregation and discrimination–was a key factor in transforming the post office. Continue Reading A Retired Postal Worker’s Tax Day Recollections

Why Are Children Killing Children in New Orleans?

We published Lance Hill’s book The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement several years ago, but we’ve stayed in touch with him, eager to hear his reports from New Orleans through Katrina and after. As an activist and civil rights historian, he brings a valuable perspective to local politics and educational issues of a city still… Continue Reading Why Are Children Killing Children in New Orleans?

The legacy of North Carolina’s eugenics program

The cover story for this week’s Independent Weekly (on newsstands in the Triangle from 3/24/10 to 3/30/10), discusses the victims of North Carolina’s 20th-century eugenics program and the current campaign for reparations to people (mostly poor black women) who were forcibly sterilized. As of March 1, 2010, the state has established an organization to finally bring justice for surviving victims.… Continue Reading The legacy of North Carolina’s eugenics program

To Right These Wrongs: A Groundbreaking Project

The first few books from UNC Press’ Spring|Summer 2010 catalog made it to bookshelves this month, and many more will be debuting in the coming months. One of the books we’re excited to publish, in partnership with Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement, is Robert R. Korstad and James L. Leloudis’ To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and… Continue Reading To Right These Wrongs: A Groundbreaking Project

David Ruggles, Abolitionist and Mentor to Abolitionists

This week is the very good time to talk about Graham Hodges’ new book David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City–for at least two reasons.  The first of these is that Hodges was interviewed by Eric Foner (DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University) as part of the Lincoln Series at the… Continue Reading David Ruggles, Abolitionist and Mentor to Abolitionists

An NAACP Anniversary: Looking Back at Ella Baker

Today, February 12th, 2010, marks the 101st anniversary of one of the nation’s most important organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Because of today’s important nature, we want to focus on someone central to the organization’s success, as well as many more victories in the civil rights movement. Born in 1903, Ella Baker was involved in… Continue Reading An NAACP Anniversary: Looking Back at Ella Baker

50 Years: The International Civil Rights Center & Museum

On February 1, 1960, four students from the historically black Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina (now the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University) sat down in the “whites only” section of a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They were refused service, but stayed. The next day, there were around 25 protesters. Soon, over 300 protesters… Continue Reading 50 Years: The International Civil Rights Center & Museum

“Black Men Bearing Freedom” This Weekend in Wilmington

All readers interested in American history should take the coming Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend as an opportunity to head to the Wilmington area for a fantastic panel discussion titled “Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and Their Impact in North Carolina” on January 15th at 6 p.m. Presented by the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and held… Continue Reading “Black Men Bearing Freedom” This Weekend in Wilmington

Charron Discusses the Life of Septima Clark on the State of Things today

In the mid-1950s, Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a former public school teacher, developed a citizenship training program that enabled thousands of African Americans to register to vote and then to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. In Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark, Katherine Mellen Charron demonstrates Clark’s crucial role–and the… Continue Reading Charron Discusses the Life of Septima Clark on the State of Things today

UNC Press Goes West (And Likes It)

First, let’s set the scene: A little closer… Last Sunday, UNC Press held a book party at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  The event celebrated three of our fall 2009 titles: Foy Allen Edelman, author of SWEET CAROLINA, spent six years traveling every inch of North Carolina to collect the best in local dessert recipes; the result… Continue Reading UNC Press Goes West (And Likes It)

Today in history: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were readmitted to the Union

Reunited and it feels so good; okay, so maybe 1868 wasn’t as smooth as a pop song.  There were a few kinks to work out.  How would secessionist states regain self-governing status?  How would newly freedmen be integrated into southern society?  What would become of the leaders of the Confederacy?  Reconstruction proved to be one of the most trying times… Continue Reading Today in history: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were readmitted to the Union

Juneteenth, Emancipation, and the Proclamation

Today, the UNC Press blog is happy to offer a guest post from William A. Blair, professor of U.S. history and director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University. In November, UNC Press will be publishing Lincoln’s Proclamation, a collection of essays coedited by Blair and Karen F. Younger that offers new… Continue Reading Juneteenth, Emancipation, and the Proclamation

John Hope Franklin memorial service

Family, friends, and colleagues shared memories and inspiration in a loving service in honor of John Hope Franklin and his wife Aurelia Whittington Franklin yesterday at Duke Chapel. We say goodbye to a wise and generous man, a history-making historian, and an old friend.

The Long Civil Rights Movement conference videos now online

Last summer Rachel blogged about a new Mellon-funded project aimed at sharing scholarship on the civil rights movement. Last month, Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement (LCRM) sponsored a wildly successful conference here at UNC to discuss the project and possibilities for scholarly collaboration. LCRM director Sylvia Miller described the conference this way: All of the sessions made substantial efforts… Continue Reading The Long Civil Rights Movement conference videos now online

Upcoming events, 4/21 – 4/27

New York, NY – Today! Tuesday 4/21 at 6 pm – Ann Marie Stock, author of On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking during Times of Transition (hot off the press!), will be speaking at the Havana Film Festival at the King Juan Carlos Center. Raleigh, NC – Wed., 4/22 at 11 am – Rob Christensen, author of The Paradox of… Continue Reading Upcoming events, 4/21 – 4/27

Upcoming events: UNC wins NCAA championship, etc.

The Tar Heels are on order by the Commander in Chief to win the NCAA tourney tonight. Go Heels!! Here’s a preview of tonight’s celebration on Franklin Street. This video was shot on Saturday, when the Tar Heels beat Villanova in the final four. Hopefully any potential thunderstorms and tornadoes will happen sooner rather than later today so we can… Continue Reading Upcoming events: UNC wins NCAA championship, etc.

Remembrances for Franklin abound

Our hearts are warmed by the outpouring of remembrances for John Hope Franklin. We’ve been blogging about it the past couple of days (here and here), but there’s no letting up yet. In a New York Times editorial, Brent Staples cites John Hope’s “groundbreaking work on free Negroes in antebellum North Carolina” (that would be JHF’s first book, The Free… Continue Reading Remembrances for Franklin abound

In memoriam, John Hope Franklin (1915-2009)

The ties between the nation’s most distinguished historian and UNC Press go back a very long way. In 1943, UNC Press (which had already made something of a name for itself by its books by and about African Americans) published John Hope Franklin’s first book, The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860. It was a revision of his Harvard dissertation… Continue Reading In memoriam, John Hope Franklin (1915-2009)

Sad news: we’ve lost 2 giants

We’re mourning two great losses over here at the Press this afternoon. In addition to being UNC Press authors, both men were giants in their fields, and indeed helped establish and define new fields of scholarship. Both lived long, fulfilling lives in which their pioneering intellectual pursuits served the public good. Both gave of themselves tirelessly, mentoring and inspiring multiple… Continue Reading Sad news: we’ve lost 2 giants

Your Weekend To-Do List

Yes, you! Cool stuff happening this weekend. Radio, Internet, and Real-Life events that deserve your attention: Robert McElvaine on All Things Considered – Today, Friday, to discuss FDR’s letters from Americans and the letter-reading habit President Obama has picked up. I know, we teased you earlier in the week because we thought his conversation would air Wednesday or Thursday. Well,… Continue Reading Your Weekend To-Do List