Black History

One chapter in my most recent book, African Immersion: American College Students in Cameroon (Lexington Books, 2015) looks at racial interactions in Cameroon: African American-Caucasian, African-Caucasian, and African American-African. The research finds gross ignorance in public discourse on race relations. But academic institutions neither mandate students to take courses about America’s racial past nor create other avenues for a critical examination of racism in the U.S.

Remembering Selma, Honoring Black History Year-Round

Feb 15, 2015
Kimberly Barrett is Wright State University’s Vice President For Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Black History Month has always created a bit of a quandary for me. I hope that one day stories of the contributions of Americans of African descent are so woven into the intergenerational narrative we share in the United States that there will be no need for it. However, this year the celebration of Black History Month is especially momentous. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of events leading to a pivotal moment in the evolution of our nation’s democracy, the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

After 150 Years, Black Struggles Echo An Earlier Voice

Feb 9, 2015
Henry Highland Garnet, abolitionist pastor and advocate, spoke on the U.S. capitol in February, 1865.
Wikimedia Commons

A hundred and fifty years ago this week, Reverend Henry Highland Garnet became the first Black man to present from the speaker’s platform in the U.S. capital. He preached to commemorate the January 31st passage by Congress of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. In the sermon, Garnet compared Christians who supported slavery to the biblical Pharisees who observed many rituals, but whose cruelty  demonstrated that they did not have a true love for their fellow men in their hearts.

At the end of this week, a Smithsonian exhibition celebrating two landmark bookends of the civil rights movement heads out of Louisville, Ohio, a small town in Stark County that has had a history of racial problems

As Black History month comes to a close, a new book about a 19th century African-American Daniel Rudd - a former slave who lived in Springfield, Ohio and helped change the face of the Catholic church. 

"A Cry for Justice," follows the life of Daniel Rudd a young slave from Bardstown, Kentucky. He was freed after the Civil War and traveled to Springfield to work at a newspaper. His beliefs also led him to challenge the Catholic Church to deliver equality and justice for black people.