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Iola Leroy

First published in 1892, this stirring novel by writer and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is […]


Mining the ‘Afro-American’ Archives

In order to preserve The Afro-American Newspaper’s archival holdings and make them accessible to the masses, the Center for Africana Studies and the Sheridan Libraries’ Center for Educational Resources have embarked on the Diaspora Pathways Archival Access Project, a student internship program funded by a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Read more in the JHU Gazette.


DPAAP Begins Digging

Five student interns have begun the work of uncovering and describing the contents of The Afro-American Newspapers archives. The 116-year-old Baltimore-based newspaper company is the longest running family-owned African American newspaper in the nation. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Diaspora Pathways Archival Access Project (DPAAP) is a three-year collaboration between JHU’s Center for Africana Studies, the Sheridan Libraries’ […]


Hopkins Marks 30th Anniversary of ‘Callaloo’

Poetry and fiction readings, lectures, conversations, and panel discussions will this week celebrate 30 years of continuous publication of Callaloo, the premier African Diaspora literary journal, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Read more in the JHU Gazette.


‘Afro’ Archives to Be Unlocked by New Grant

The Johns Hopkins University has been awarded $476,000 to collaborate with the Baltimore-based Afro-American Newspapers to open the 115-year-old newspaper company’s historic archives to access by scholars and others. Read the article in the JHU Gazette.


Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius

Ralph Ellison cover

Author, intellectual, and social critic, Ralph Ellison (1914-94) was a pivotal figure in American literature and history and arguably the father of African American modernism. Universally acclaimed for his first novel, Invisible Man, a masterpiece of modern fiction, Ellison was recognized with a stunning succession of honors, including the 1953 National Book Award. Despite his literary […]


The Works of William Wells Brown: Using His “Strong, Manly Voice”

Widely considered the first African-American novelist, William Wells Brown’s 1853 novel, Clotel, or the President’s Daughter, chronicled the fate of the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and his black housekeeper. Yet, in his own day, Brown was perhaps more important as a rousing orator, scholar, and cultural critic. He escaped from slavery in 1834 and worked on Lake Erie […]


Out of Africa

With several recent key hires, including that of director Ben Vinson, the fledgling Africana Studies Center is poised to take off—with a tripartite approach that transcends cultures…and continents.