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Department of History Honors Black History Month

Detached from "The First Black Regiment" by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, published in Outlook (New York, N.Y. : 1893). Vol. 59, no. 9 (July 2, 1898).

Detached from “The First Black Regiment” by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, published in Outlook (New York, N.Y. : 1893). Vol. 59, no. 9 (July 2, 1898).

At Texas A&M University, Black history matters.  Through research, teaching and working with local communities, the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences makes sure that Black experiences are preserved, remembered and shared.

Texas A&M Department of History faculty have recently won two national book awards for their work in the field of Black history. Dr. Takarra Brunson earned the 2022 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize for African American Women’s History from the Association of Women Historians for her book Black Women, Citizenship, and the Making of Modern Cuba (University Press of Florida, 2021). Brunson’s research uncovers how women of African descent created organizations and parties to reform their society and forge a modern democracy despite lacking formal political power.

Also, Dr. Lorien Foote received the 2022 Civil War and Reconstruction Book Award from the Organization of American Historian for her book Rites of Retaliation: Civilization, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). The monograph tells the story of how free Black Union soldiers forced the Confederacy to recognize them as legitimate combatants through their service and sacrifice.

Research in Black history at Texas A&M ranges from the experience of enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, the migrations of West Indians to Boston to the struggle for racial equality in the modern American West. Publications in Black history by Department of History faculty include:

– Dr. Albert Broussard’s “Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900-1954” from University Press of Kansas.
– Broussard’s “American History: The Early Years to 1877” with Donald A. Ritchie from Glencoe/McGraw Hill.
– Broussard’s “African-American Odyssey: The Stewarts, 1853-1963” from University Press of Kansas.
– Dr. Rebecca Hartkopf Schloss’ “Sweet Liberty: The Final Days of Slavery in Martinique” from University of Pennsylvania.
– Dr. Violet Showers Johnson’s “The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900-1950” from Indiana University Press.
– Johnson’s “African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America” with Marilyn Halter from NYU Press.
– Johnson’s “Deferred Drams. Defiant Struggles: Critical Perspectives on Blackness, Belonging, and Civil Rights” from Liverpool University Press.

Department of History faculty at Texas A&M contribute their teaching expertise in a variety of courses on Black history and Africana studies, including:

– HIST300/AFST300 Blacks in the United States, 1607-1877
– HIST301/AFST301 Blacks in the United States Since 1877
– HIST357/AFST357 Out of Africa: The Black Diaspora and the Modern World
– HIST377/AFST377/WGST377 Africana Women’s History
– HIST378 Afro-Latin America

History Exhibit at recent eventThe Department of History is also committed to working with local communities to bring Black history to a broad public audience. Broussard received the 2023 Kevin R. Carreathers Award for Impact and Service from the Black Former Student Network for his work to connect students, the university and local organizations. Broussard and Brunson represented the Department of History at the “For the Culture Market” sponsored by the REACH project and the City of College Station, on Feb. 3, 2024.

Members of the history faculty organize and sponsor special events and symposiums to explore and celebrate Black history. Foote organized the Texas A&M co-sponsored symposium “More than an Eagle on the Button: Black Lives Beyond the Battlefield in the U.S. Civil War” at Sam Houston State University on Oct. 12-13, 2023, which brought speakers from across the world to share their work with a public audience. Brunson arranged the event “Historicizing Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions in Cuba” for the Race and Ethnic Studies Speaker Series that was held on Feb. 8, 2023.

Black history is an ongoing part of teaching, scholarship and outreach at Texas A&M. Every month is Black history month on this campus, and those who want to learn more about Black history can find a variety of books, classes and events to explore. The Department of History’s next co-sponsored event is the “New Directions in African Studies” symposium organized by Dr. Evan Haefeli at the Glasscock Center on March 8, 2024. The event brings together leading young scholars from across the nation who are working on different aspects of African history and culture to illuminate the status of this dynamic field. Historians from Texas A&M will be commenting on the presentations, and the audience is invited to join in the lively discussion.