Academic Historian

Herb Ruffin is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Syracuse University.  He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Claremont Graduate University, California. His research examines the African American experiences in Silicon Valley (California), San Antonio (Texas), and in particular, the process of Black suburbanization in the American West from 1945-2010.  Professor Ruffin’s book Uninvited Neighbors: African Americans in Silicon Valley, 1769-1990 was published by the Oklahoma University Press in 2014. In addition, he has authored numerous articles, book reviews, and online academic publications that focus on African Diaspora History and Culture, the Black West, Urban Studies and Social Movements. Moreover, Ruffin serves as an appointed committee member on the Organization of American Historians Committees of Committees, and on BlackPast.org’s advisory board. He has also been an active consultant in regard to organizing curriculum, public exhibits, and historical presentations on Africa and African Diaspora history and culture, including work with the Smithsonian Institution, Africa Initiative, and serving as U.S. Historian Delegate to South Africa.

Isaiah T. Montgomery (1847-1924)

Isaiah Thornton Montgomery was an African American leader best known for founding the all-black town of Mound Bayou, Mississippi and for his public endorsement of black disenfranchisement. Montgomery was born enslaved on May 21, 1847 to Benjamin Thornton and Mary Lewis Montgomery on the Hurricane … Read MoreIsaiah T. Montgomery (1847-1924)

Davis Bend, Mississippi (1865-1887)

Davis Bend, Mississippi was an all-black town near Vicksburg, sometimes referred to as Davis Bend colony. It was a 4,000-acre cooperative community made up of former enslaved African Americans seeking equality, justice, and race pride in a society they called their own. In 1865, this … Read MoreDavis Bend, Mississippi (1865-1887)

Daniel Hale Williams (1856-1931)

Daniel Hale Williams III was a pioneering surgeon best known for performing in 1893 one of the world’s first successful open heart surgeries.  Williams was born on January 18, 1856, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania to Sarah Price Williams and Daniel Hale Williams II.  Following the death … Read MoreDaniel Hale Williams (1856-1931)

Ralph Harold Metcalfe (1910-1978)

Ralph Metcalfe, was an outstanding U.S. sprinter, track coach, and politican born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During Metcalfe’s years as a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1932 through 1934, he was arguably the world’s fastest human. His strong … Read MoreRalph Harold Metcalfe (1910-1978)