February is Black History month. It is a time for remembrance and reflection for all Americans, but for Historians it is also a rich period for study and research. iTunes U, the academic branch of Apple’s iTunes store, is featuring a vast collection of first-hand oral histories, interviews, and lectures on the extensive history of African Americans.
by Jorge Cañizares Esguerra Two flights had been cancelled in Chicago and I had already waited for seven hours to catch a plane. As temperatures kept dropping and a snowstorm was fast approaching, I just jumped on a bus to go to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. I plowed my way to the Morris […]
The castas, or mixed race populations, suffered numerous forms of discrimination in colonial Latin America, but in practice pardos and mulatos could still achieve some social mobility. A rare few, by the mid eighteenth century, were able to petition the Spanish crown through a process known as the gracias al sacar, to purchase whiteness.
My father’s family came from Cape Verde, a tiny archipelago off the west coast of Africa near Senegal. Cape Verde was part of the Portuguese empire until a bloody fight for freedom initially led by my personal hero, Amilcar Cabral, brought independence to nation in July 1975.
On August 6th, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Right Act of 1965 into law, outlawing any state effort to “deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” This law was a watershed moment for the Civil Rights movement and helped ensure a generation of African-Americans access to the polls.
“No founding father wrote more eloquently on behalf of liberty and human rights than Thomas Jefferson, and none has a more troubling record when it comes to the “peculiar institution” of slavery. At present, the popular understanding of Jefferson’s shilly-shallying on this issue doesn’t extend much deeper than knowing smirks about Sally Hemings and the (unacknowledged) children Jefferson fathered with her. We tend to assume that the dirtiest secrets of the past have to do with sex. But, as Henry Wiencek explains in his new book, “Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves,” the real filth is in the ledger books.”
Historian Jules Tygiel presents not only an account of Jackie Robinson’s heroic struggle to integrate Major League Baseball, but a larger history of links between African American history, baseball, and the modern civil rights movement. Baseball’s Great Experiment further raises questions about race and sports in our current day.
This year, third year doctoral student Ava Purkiss received the prestigious L. Tuffly Ellis Best Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of Texas History. Her paper, titled “‘Home Economics Training is for the Improvement of Home and Family Life?’: African American Women Professionals and Home Economics Training in Texas, 1930-1950,” examines African American enrollment in the home economics major at Prairie View A&M University in the 1940s.
For the fifth installment of our “Making History” series, Zach Doleshal talks to Robert Matthew Gildner, a senior doctoral student in history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the interview, Robert explains why 1952 represented a unique moment for indigenous Bolivians, why previous historians have overlooked this history, and how a trip to Holland inspired him to work on Latin American history.
In the second installation of our new series, “Making History,” Zach Doleshal speaks with Jessica Wolcott Luther about her experience as a graduate student in history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the interview, Jessica shares stories about researching in seventeenth century archives (she’s been to eleven so far!), studying history using anthropological documents, and overcoming the frustration of knowing that she may never get the chance to find a direct source from a former enslaved person.