Independent Historian

Catherine Roth is a 2009 graduate of the University of Washington where she majored in history. Her essay,“The Coon Chicken Inn: A History of White Bigotry and Black Agency in Seattle, Washington” won the 2008-2009 York-Mason Award for outstanding undergraduate essay on African Americans in the West.  Interested in 20th century American cultural history, African-American history, and public history, she is eager to continue her academic career by pursuing a Masters in History.  Roth is currently the Education Intern for

François “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907-1971)

Dr. François Duvalier, also known as “Papa Doc,” was the president of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. His regime was notorious for its autocratic and corrupt rule. Born on April 14, 1907 in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, François Duvalier was the son of Duval Duvalier … Read MoreFrançois “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907-1971)

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (1951-2014)

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the son of the infamously corrupt and authoritarian Haitian president François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, was president of Haiti from 1971 to 1986. Born on July 3, 1951 in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, he grew up largely in isolation, spending his time … Read MoreJean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (1951-2014)

Tonton Macoutes (Milice Volontaires de la Securite Nationale – MSVN)

The Milice Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (MVSN), or the (Militia of) National Security Volunteers was a Haitian paramilitary force founded in 1958 to defend the autocratic and corrupt regime of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. The MVSN, commonly known as the Tonton Macoutes, was notorious … Read MoreTonton Macoutes (Milice Volontaires de la Securite Nationale – MSVN)

“Mississippi” John Smith Hurt (ca. 1892-1966)

Born in Teoc, Mississippi in 1892 but raised in Avalon, Mississippi, “Mississippi” John Hurt spent the majority of his life employed as a farm hand. Though he briefly recorded in the 1920s, it was not until the 1960s that his music was widely distributed and … Read More“Mississippi” John Smith Hurt (ca. 1892-1966)

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten (ca. 1892-1987)

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, an American folk and blues musician, made her professional debut in 1959 at the age of 67. Discovered by the musically-renowned Seeger family in the 1950s, Cotten was soon recognized for her unique self-taught guitar and banjo picking style and her songs … Read MoreElizabeth “Libba” Cotten (ca. 1892-1987)