Black Death: Gore, Geographies and the Gallows in Jamaica


One evening, on a road in Jamaica, a soldier belonging to the “Mulatto Company” made his evening rounds. He came upon a black man in the woods. The soldier called for his attention. Receiving no answer, he killed him.

[Continue Reading…]

State of the Field Roundtable at #ASALH100

ASALH Panel At the recent meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, I had the pleasure of chairing a roundtable discussion on the state of African American intellectual history. The discussants, pictured from left to right, included Derrick Alridge, Mia Bay, and AAIHS bloggers Brandon Byrd and Jessica Johnson. Each person gave opening remarks of about 10 minutes, followed by an hour of discussion. [Continue Reading…]

African American Diplomacy and Disruptive Activism (Athan Biss)

Black Lives Matter Protester Tia Oso

This is a guest post by Athan Biss, a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching interests include Race and U.S. Foreign Affairs with a particular focus on African American history, … [Continue reading]

Between Diasporic Consciousness and Cultural Appropriation


Last month, writer Zipporah Gene, of Nigerian descent, set off a firestorm when she accused African Americans of "culturally appropriating" African fashions and style - specifically targeting those who attended this year's Afropunk festival. To say … [Continue reading]

On the New York Young Lords: An Interview with Darrel Wanzer-Serrano


This month, I interviewed Dr. Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, the author of an exciting new book entitled The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation (Temple University Press, 2015). An original study, Wanzer-Serrano’s book is the first … [Continue reading]

Sean Wilentz is wrong about the Founders, slavery, and the Constitution


According to Sean Wilentz’s opinion piece in the September 16 New York Times, the Constitution of 1787 did not make slavery a national institution. The noted American historian cites the anxiety of some of the founding fathers over slavery to counter … [Continue reading]

Spirits Rejoice!: Jazz and American Religion (Book Review)

bivins cover

  Jason C. Bivins. Spirits Rejoice!: Jazz and American Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp.xvi, 369. $29.95 I first met Oluyemi Thomas in 1999.  Before I met him, I met his horn.  It was the Baha’i Black Men’s Gathering in … [Continue reading]

Notes from the Library: Gerrit Smith and the Problems of Politics

Gerrit Smith 1855

Gerrit Smith wanted to solve the problems of the antebellum United States. He hated slavery, so he bankrolled John Brown. He believed in agrarianism, so he offered black families land grants in upstate New York. And though he had qualms about the … [Continue reading]

I took students on an educational excursion to Canada: Reflections in hindsight


It was around 5:30 am on Thursday, July 30, 2015.  With only light from nearby campus light posts, Delaware State University faculty, staff, students, alumni and even a few persons from the greater Dover community excited their cars ready to embark … [Continue reading]

Bring Thee Our Laurels Whatever They Be: The Tradition of Morgan State Student Civil Rights Activism

Simone Barrett picture

  The author of this post is Simone Barrett, Research Specialist at Morgan State University's Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education.  As a doctoral student in Morgan's History program, Simone has written a wonderful piece on the … [Continue reading]