Independent Historian

Melissa Turner is a an independent historian who studies radical historians and intellectuals.  She holds advanced degrees in history and political science and is particularly interested in 20th Century thinkers in Western Europe and the United States.

Freedomways (1961-1985)

Freedomways was the central theoretical journal of the 20th century black arts and intellectual movement in the United States.  From its opening issue in the spring of 1961, it invited historians, sociologists, economists, artists, workers, and students to write on African American history, heritage, and … Read MoreFreedomways (1961-1985)

Lorenzo Johnston Greene (1899-1988)

Dr. Lorenzo Johnston Greene was a pioneering African American historian.  Greene was born on November 16, 1899 in Ansonia, Connecticut.  He received his BA from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1924 and his MA in history from Columbia University in 1926.  From 1928 to … Read MoreLorenzo Johnston Greene (1899-1988)

Eric Eustace Williams (1911-1981)

Historian, educator, and politician Eric Eustace Williams was born in 1911 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to working class parents. His family’s struggles to survive economically introduced Williams to the brutal social and racial hierarchy of the British colony. As an adult, he gave up a faculty … Read MoreEric Eustace Williams (1911-1981)

Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell (1924-2019)

Community organizer and civil rights activist Hunter Pitts O’Dell was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 11, 1924.  His father George Edwin O’Dell worked in hotels and restaurants in Detroit. His mother, Emily (Pitts) O’Dell, who studied music at Howard University, later taught adults to … Read MoreHunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell (1924-2019)