Paul Robeson and Japanese Americans, 1942-1949

One hero and friend of Japanese Americans, both individuals and the community generally, was Paul Robeson. Robeson was (after Joe Louis) the most popular and visible African American of the 1930s and 1940s. He was a celebrated stage actor and movie star, an internationally famous … Read MorePaul Robeson and Japanese Americans, 1942-1949

Organized Labor in the 21st Century: The Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226

In February 2008, the Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226 emerged on the national political scene with their high profile endorsement of presidential candidate Barack Obama. The union itself has a much older history that goes back to the late 1940s and … Read MoreOrganized Labor in the 21st Century: The Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226

The Blood of Entertainers: The Life and Times of Jimi Hendrix’s Paternal Grandparents

In the following article, Janie L. Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix and  the younger sister of music legend Jimi Hendrix, reflects on the lives of their grandparents, Bertram Philander Ross Hendrix and Zenora Moore.  Her article reminds us of the rich entertainment heritage … Read MoreThe Blood of Entertainers: The Life and Times of Jimi Hendrix’s Paternal Grandparents

Arvarh E. Strickland, 1930-2013: An Historian’s Life

In the article that follows, Richard S. Kirkendall, the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Washington, Seattle, pays tribute to fellow historian Arvarh E. Strickland.  Kirkendall was chairman of the History Department of the University of Missouri-Columbia in … Read MoreArvarh E. Strickland, 1930-2013: An Historian’s Life

Working the Quincy Mill: African American Lumber Mill Workers in Northern California, 1926-1955

Economic opportunity motivated millions of early 20th Century African Americans to leave the segregated South.  Most of the people of the Great Migration found better jobs and better pay in northern factories in World War I and western defense industries in World War II.  However, … Read MoreWorking the Quincy Mill: African American Lumber Mill Workers in Northern California, 1926-1955

A Brief History of the San Diego NAACP, 1917-2007

In 1917, realizing the hunger for social justice among the one thousand African American residents of San Diego, W. E. B. DuBois traveled from Los Angeles to San Diego as part of his western states tour on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement … Read MoreA Brief History of the San Diego NAACP, 1917-2007

The 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports

In the following account sports historian Charles Kastner describes the Bunion Derby, the 1928 cross country footrace that captured the nation’s attention in the spring of 1928 and the remarkable group of black runners who participated in that event. For a detailed discussion of the … Read MoreThe 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports

In Praise of Mayme Clayton: Images of the African American West

In the article below historians Kathleen Thompson and Hilary Mac Austin describe Dr. Mayme Clayton, the longtime law librarian at the University of California School of Law who in her spare time accumulated one of the largest collections of African American photographs and other memorabilia … Read MoreIn Praise of Mayme Clayton: Images of the African American West

Remembering Sara Dunlap Jackson (1919-1991)

In 1944 Sara Dunlap Jackson became one of the first African American professionals hired by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. where she specialized in western, military, social and African American topics.  She continued at the Archives until her retirement in 1990.  In the following … Read MoreRemembering Sara Dunlap Jackson (1919-1991)

“The Yellow Rose of Texas”: The Ironic Origins of a Popular Song

While many Americans are familiar with the song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” few know the story of Emily West, the African American woman who was the inspiration for its creation.  In the excerpt below from a longer article that first appeared in 1996, University … Read More“The Yellow Rose of Texas”: The Ironic Origins of a Popular Song