Professor of History
Norfolk State University
Ph.D., College of William and Mary, May 1992 (Williamsburg, Virginia).
Title of Dissertation, “`The World Was All Before Them’: The Black Community in Norfolk, Virginia, 1861-1890.”
M.A. course work completed, Old Dominion University, 1984 (Norfolk, Virginia).
Attended International Graduate Summer School Program, Exeter College, Oxford University, Summer 1983, (Oxford, England).
Teaching Certificate (A Collegiate Professional Certificate), Norfolk State University, 1983 (Norfolk, Virginia).
B.A. University of Virginia, 1980 (Charlottesville, Virginia).
Professor of History, Norfolk State University, 2010 – presentTeach face-to-face and online classes on Historical Research, Modern American and African-American History, and graduate classes on Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad
Associate Professor, Norfolk State University,1995 – 2010.Taught American Survey, Historical Research, Modern American and African- American History
Assistant Profesor, Norfolk State University, 1992 – 1995. Taught American Survey, Modern American and African-American History
Project Director, 1619 Conference Series 2012+
Norfolk State University, in collaboration with William and Mary’s 1619 Middle Passage Project 1619 Initiative and the Lemon Project, Old Dominion University, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Project 1619, the Sankofa Project, and the Nottaway Indians of Virginia, began to plan a 2012 conference that would begin a national conversation about how events beginning in 1619 would create a watershed that transformed America. Our consortium invited scholars from eight universities to join in the conversation through a conference hosted by NSU on September 21-22, 2012. The purpose of this first conference was to deconstruct the events that began in 1619 and to focus on the question, “When did we become Americans?”
Director, Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for the African Diaspora, 2009 + I founded the Roberts Center, which is based in the School of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University. The Center’s objectives include creating opportunities for Norfolk State University to enhance the strength of its humanities programs. Dedicated to the exploration and analysis of the history and culture of African people and to those who were part of the Diaspora, the Center affords opportunities to scholars to study and disseminate the story of Africans’ migration around the globe from centuries ago to the present day.
Research Coordinator, School of Liberal Arts, Norfolk State University, 2008-10 Duties included identifying appropriate grants for faculty in the School of Liberal Arts and assisting in the submission of those grants.
UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE EXPERIENCE:
2013 Secretary, Chair of Constitution and By-Laws Committee, Faculty Senate
2013 Chair, Faculty Handbook Amendment Committee
2012-13 Assistant Secretary, Chair of Constitution and By-Laws Committee, Faculty Senate 2011-Pres. Faculty Senate representative
2010-12 Chair, History Department Evaluation Committee
2009-10 Chair, History Department Faculty Search Committee
2009 Search Committee member, Dean of Liberal Arts
2007-2010 Secretary, Faculty Senate
2006-2012 Chair, Faculty Handbook Committee
2005-2007 Vice President, Faculty Senate
2004-2010 Chair, Faculty Senate Grievance Committee
2004-Pres. Faculty Senate Executive Committee member
Books and Book Chapters
An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2010.
Black America Series: Portsmouth. Co-author, Mae Breckenridge-Haywood. Mount Pleasant, SC: ArcadiaPublishing, 2003.
Hampton Roads: Remembering Our Schools, co-authored with Charles Ford, Jeffrey Littlejohn, Sonia Yaco, and the Norfolk Historical Society. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2009.
Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy, edited with William Alexander and Charles Ford. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
“Waterways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads,” in Race, Slavery, and the Civil
War: The Tough Stuff of American History, edited by James Horton and Amanda Kleintop. Richmond, VA: Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, 2011.
“Vivian Carter Mason: The Community Feminist,” article contributed in Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times, two-volume collection for the University of Georgia Press. Forthcoming 2013.
Articles and Book Reviews
Review of John Ernest’s, A Nation Within a Nation: Organizing African-American Communities Before the Civil War, Journal of African American History 98 (Spring 2013): 320-322.
“African Americans: Highlights of Our Heritage,” published by the Southeastern Virginia Arts Association, 1998.
“Amanda Virginia Thomas Clark,” Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006.
“Norfolk, Virginia: Civic, Literary, and Mutual Aid Associations” in Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations, Nina Mjagkij, editor. NY: Garland Publishing, 2001.
“Samuel Francis Coppage,” Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006.
“The Spirit Voice of the Disfranchised” in Religious/Freedom, South Style, Catharine Cookson, editor. Norfolk, VA: Published by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College, 2002.
2013 Summer Research for Vivian Carter Mason, sponsored by Norfolk State University ($5,000) 2012-Pres. Project Director for the National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “Commemorating the African Diaspora in American History and Culture” ($69,529)
2009-11 Project Director for the National Endowment for the Humanities grant, Waterways to Freedom: Gaming and the Underground Railroad ($100,000)
2008-09 Project Director for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom grant, Waterways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads Virginia. This grant was to conduct research and to host a symposium ($15,000)
2006-07 Project Director for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant, America’s 400th Anniversary: Voices from within the Veil, an international conference that was part of the democracy conference series sponsored by the Jamestown 2007 Federal Commission ($5,000)
2005-06 Project Co-Director for Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant, “Eyewitnesses To American History: An African-American genealogical/historical perspective of the Slave Narratives” ($15,000)
2004 Project Director for Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant, “A Tale of Two Churches: Portsmouth’s Underground Railroad Activities” ($12,000)
2004 Project Director for Underground Railroad survey and Emanuel AME Church Archeological Survey grant from Norfolk State University ($5,000)
2003-04 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for writing a history of Black physicians in Virginia ($24,000)
2003 Project Director for National Endowment for the Humanities Extending the Reach grant for digital history project, “Mirrored Communities,” a look at 4 federally-funded communities in Tidewater, 1918-1940 ($25,000 grant)
2002 Project Director for National Endowment for the Humanities Extending the Reach grant for digital history project, “Race, Time, and Place: African Americans in Tidewater Virginia.” ($25,600 grant)
2001-02 Project Director for a grant awarded by the NSU Center for Excellence in University Teaching’s mini-grant program. ($2,500)
2001-02 Project Director for Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for digital history project, “Race, Time, and Place: African Americans in Tidewater Virginia.” ($12,000 grant)
2001 Project Director for National Endowment for the Humanities Extending the Reach grant for digital history project, “Race, Time, and Place: African American Hospitals and Health Care in Tidewater Virginia.” ($25,633 grant)
2000-01 Project Director for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for digital history project,
“Race, Time, and Place: African American Hospitals and Health Care in Tidewater Virginia.” ($8,000 grant)
2000 Project Director for Virginia Foundation for the Humanities discretionary grant, “Relational Databases in Tidewater Virginia”. ($1,500 grant)
1999-2000 Project Director for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities project grant, “African American Health Care and the Role of Black Hospitals.” ($10,000 grant)
1999-2000 Co-wrote Virginia State Council of Higher Education Conference grant, “Potential Graduate Student Conference”. ($7,000 grant)
1998 Co-wrote Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Conference grant, “The Transatlantic Slave
Trade,” which was held in conjunction with the Henrietta Marie exhibition at Nauticus the Maritime Center. ($3,000 grant)
1994-2001 Co-created a Norfolk State University/College of William and Mary Pre-Graduate Seminar for minority students to help prepare them for graduate work. Also co-wrote a grant proposal which is partially funded by the Virginia State Council on Higher Education from the Summer 1995 until 2001. ($215,000 grant)
May 2013 Invited Scholar for Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service’s Scholars Roundtable at Fort Monroe
2012-13 Consultant for Virginia Monument to Women design, Women’s Monument Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia
July 2012 Historical Consultant and Participant in the 3-Day Foundation Workshop for the National Park Service, Fort Monroe National Monument
2012 Historical Consultant for Partner RBH Multimedia Inc.’s Battles for Freedom: The African American Military Experience, produced for the National Park Service
2012 Historian Consultant for Teaching American History Voices of America program for Newport News Public Schools
2001 Invited Panelist for the discussion, “The View from the Top,” as part of the Virginia Women’s Conference: A Woman’s Playbook for Wealth, Wellness, and Wisdom for Any Age, hosted by Senator Mark Warner and Old Dominion University, November 19, 2011. This panel included successful women throughout the Commonwealth to discuss the secrets of their success and included Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African American Female Combat Pilot Lesa B. Roe, Director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, Esther Vassar, National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator of Regulatory Enforcement Fairness, The Honorable Molly Ward, Mayor, City of Hampton, The Honorable Terrie Suit, Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia, Patricia L. Roberston, Chief Executive Office of Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital, and Cathy Lewis, Executive Producer and Host of HearSay, WHRV FM.
2011-Pres Historical Consultant for Contraband of War: Untold American Stories project spearheaded by Hampton University and the Fort Monroe Authority
2011-Pres Community Facilitator for project, “Remembering Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom Project,” sponsored by the Martin Luther King Commission, the Virginia General Assembly, and the Institute for Historical Biology, College of William and Mary
2011 Speech writer for The Honorable Bobby Scott, for the Association for the Study of African American History, keynote address for closing program, Richmond, Virginia.
2011 Wrote brief biography of the Reverend Joseph A. Green, former vice mayor, city of Norfolk, for the Union of Black Episcopalians annual conference in Norfolk, Virginia
2011 Wrote a brief history of African American Lawyers in Norfolk, Virginia for the inaugural Attucks Theatre Lecture Series.
2010-Pres Presenter and consultant for Colonial Williamsburg Teachers Institute program.
2010-11 Reviewer for National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Program – Digital History Start-Up Grants and Fellowship Program
2009-10 Reviewer for the Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program sponsored by the Department of Education.
2009 Script Writer for Obsidian Productions LLC for the Moton Museum documentary on the student- led strike in 1951.
2009 Reviewer for the Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program sponsored by the Department of Education
2008–Pres Oral Historian, Supreme Court of Virginia
2008 Reviewer for the applications submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Faculty Research Awards competition
2005–07 History Consultant, Virginia Beach Public School’s Teaching American History grant
2004-06 Reviewer for the applications submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Faculty Research Awards competition
2004 Served on a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) Committee to select the program director for its African American Heritage Program
2003-2004 Historical Consultant for a VFH’ Projects on Titustown (Norfolk) and the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Virginia. Reviewer for the applications submitted to the NEH’s Initiative for Faculty competition and Faculty Humanities Workshop grant
Mar. 2000 Co-coordinator and Website Designer for the “Potential Graduate Student Conference,” funded by the Virginia State Council on Higher Education, held at NSU
1995–2006 Educational Consultant and annual contributor to the Afr’Am Festival (Southeastern Virginia Arts Association)
1995-2000 Educational Consultant with the Educational Testing Service for American History
SELECTED TELEVISION & DOCUMENTARY APPEARANCES:
2013 Many Rivers to Cross, Henry Louis Gates, a PBS six-part series
2012 Follett Educational Services in partnership with Colonial Williamsburg, “When Freedom Came” Electronic Field Trip (EFT) Program, a live interactive television broadcast 2011 WHRO documentary, “Code Switching”
2010-11 WHRO’s Another View, “Light vs. Dark Skin,” “What’s in a Name?” “Stand Against Racism,” “OnFilm Festival and the African American Experience,” and “Black History Vacations”
2010 C-SPAN, Race, Slavery, and the Civil War Panel, September 24, 2010
2009 C-SPAN, Massive Resistance Panel, July 17, 2009
2009 Community Idea Stations in partnership with the University of Virginia center for Politics, Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance
PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH ACTIVITIES:
2012 Invited to participate in the Fort Monroe Workshop sponsored by the National Park Service to discuss and recommend the core of the Fort Monroe National Monument’s strategic plans
2012 Wrote successful nomination of Emanuel AME Church (Portsmouth, VA) as an Underground Railroad site in the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program
2011 Led a “listening session” tour of contraband history at Fort Monroe for Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Parks Director Jon Jarvis prior to announcement making the fort a national monument
2010 Designed exhibit, “Standing on the Precipice of Change: Race, Slavery, and the Civil War in Hampton Roads,” that was on display in the Harrison B. Wilson Archive Gallery at Norfolk State University. The exhibit is currently on display in the Norfolk History Museum (Chrysler Museum of Art).
2010 Designed map, Civil War Sites in Norfolk, for the 2010 Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War conference, sponsored by VisitNorfolk.
2009-2010 Co-chair of the host institution for the 2010 Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Conference. The conference, Race, Slavery and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory, held at Norfolk State University on Sept. 24, 2010, was broadcast later on C-SPAN and was recorded as part of a documentary for the History Channel.
2009 Designed the map, “Waterways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads,” and assisted in the development of a website sponsored by VisitNorfolk.
2009 Chaired Waterways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads , funded by the Underground Freedom Network of the National Park Service, NSU, and the City of Norfolk.
2007 Participated on Tavis Smiley Presents, “State of the Black Union 2007: Jamestown, The African American Imprint on America” program, recorded at the College of William and Mary for broadcast on The History Channel.
2006 Gave the keynote address for the Jamestown Settlement’s Preview Gala. Sponsored by the Virginia African American Forum, over 250 guests attended this event showcasing the new expanded galleries that highlighted African culture and its intersection with Europeans and Native Americans during the founding of Jamestown.
SELECTED PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS:
Nov. 2013 Paper, “Joseph Jenkins Roberts: Cultivating Leadership through the Migration Network,” 7th Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), in Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic
Oct. 2013 Paper, “Mary Peake and the Tragic Mulatta Myth,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Jacksonville, Florida
July 2013 Paper, “An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads,” at the “ Contraband, Freedmen and Community: The African American Experience in the Union occupied South during the Civil War” Symposium, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown, Virginia
July, 2013 Paper, “The Civil War and its Aftermath,” Colonial Williamsburg Teachers Institute
May 2013 Paper, “Booker T. Washington: A Complicated Man,” for the Bernard Shell, Sr. Scholarship Fund program – The Booker T. Washington High School Academy of the Arts, Norfolk
May 2013 Paper, “Remembrances, Commemorations, and the Spirit Voice: Sacred Spaces in Hampton Roads Sacred Space: Burial Places of the Enslaved and their Descendants, a genealogy workshop, College of William and Mary
Feb. 2013 Paper, “Standing on the Precipice of Change: African Americans and the Emancipation Proclamation,” Civil War Institute: Emancipation Program, Hampton University
Feb. 2013 Paper, “The Impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the Region and the Emergence of the Schools,” Regional Workforce Development Center on the Franklin Campus, Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin, Virginia
Dec. 2012 Paper, Waterways to Freedom in Hampton Roads,” Teaching American History program, Newport News Public Schools
Nov. 2012 Keynote Speaker; Paper, “Voices from Virginia: Remembering the War of 1812,” Black Canadians and the War of 1812: A Focus on Nova Scotia,” Sponsored by Dalhousie University and Pier 21 National Immigration Museum Halifax, Nova Scotia
Oct. 2012 Paper, “Mary Kelsey Peake and the Importance of Education as Agency for Change,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Pittsburgh, PA
Sept. 2012 Paper, “Black Women in American History and Culture,” Norfolk Public Library Lecture Series program, Norfolk, VA
July 2012 Paper, “The Fight for Freedom and Civil Rights: The Civil War and its Aftermath,” Colonial Williamsburg Teachers Institute
Feb. 2012 Paper, “Black Women in American History in Hampton Roads, Virginia,” Newsome House Lecture Series, Newport News, VA
Oct. 2011 Paper, “Repositioning Memory: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Hampton Roads, Virginia,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Richmond, VA
Oct. 2011 Paper, “Military District Number 1: Civil War and Reconstruction in Norfolk, Virginia,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Richmond, VA
June 2011 Paper, “Standing on the Precipice of Change: African Americans and the coming of the Civil War,” 2011 Teachers Institute – “Broken Bands and Brass Ties: From Secession to War,” Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA
April 2011 Paper, “Racial Prejudice: America’s Blind Spot.” Stand Against Racism Forum,
YWCA, Norfolk, VA.
Mar. 2011 Paper, Vivian Carter Mason and the Feminine Exercise of Power: Securing Civil Rights in Tidewater, 1943-1982,” Virginia Forum, Washington and Lee.
Sept. 2010 Panel Chair, “Richmond: A Case Study in the History of Black Economic, Social and Cultural Empowerment.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Raleigh, NC
April 2010 Keynote Speaker, Works Progress Administration (WPA) Memorial Celebration, Dedication of WPA Memorial to African American Worker, Norfolk Botanical Gardens
March 2010 Paper, “Sheridan Ford and Clarissa Davis: The Underground Railroad in Portsmouth, Virginia.” Virginia Forum, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
March 2010 Panel Chair, “Pride and Prejudice, Part 2: Public School Integration in Norfolk, Virginia during the 1970s.” Virginia Forum, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA
Feb. 2010 Paper, “Pirates and Blackjacks in Hampton Roads, Virginia.” Hampton Roads Naval Museum Lecture Series for the Nauticus Real Pirate Exhibit, Nauticus, Norfolk, VA
March 2009 Paper, Genealogy and the Search for Underground Railroad Descendants.” Waterways to Freedom Symposium, Norfolk State University.
Nov. 2008 Paper, “Sheridan Ford and Clarissa Davis: The Underground Railroad in Portsmouth, VA.” Color in Freedom: Journey Along the Underground Railroad Symposium, University of Maryland, College Park
Oct. 2008 Paper, “Waterways to Freedom: Gaming and the Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads.” Assoc. for the Study of African American Life and History, Birmingham, AL
Sept. 2008 Paper, “Sheridan Ford and the Underground Railroad in Portsmouth, VA.” National Park Service Underground Railroad Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Oct. 2007 Paper, “The Black Hospital Movement: Richmond Community Hospital.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Charlotte, NC.
Oct. 2007 Paper, Underground Railroad Case Study: Sheridan Ford and Clarissa Davis.” Assoc. for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, Barbados.
July 2007 Paper, “The Liberty and Slavery Paradox: Effects of the Emerging Republics of the USA and Haiti on Enslavement in Virginia and the Eastern Shore,” for the American Institution of Enslavement Community Lecture Series, Eastern Shore Community College.
April 2007 Paper, “Escapes from Worthless Sots and Other Tales of Hampton Roads’ Underground Railroad” at the NSU-ODU Research Expo 2007.
Aug. 2006 Paper, “Escapes from “Worthless Sots” and the World of Canadian Refugees.” Oxford Round Table at St. Anne’s College, Oxford U., Oxford, England.
Jan. 2006 Paper, “Escapes from Worthless Sots” and other Slaveholders: Tales of the Underground Railroad Activities in Hampton Roads, Virginia.”
2006 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii.
2009-Present Norfolk Education Foundation; Secretary (2010-Present)
2009 African American Culture Working Group for the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority
Norfolk Historical Society
2008- Present Norfolk Historical Society
2007 – 2012 Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
2006 – Present Supreme Court of Virginia Historical Commission
2006 – Present Board of Directors, Norfolk Sister City Association, Inc.; 2nd Vice President (2011- 2012); Vice President (2012+)
2005 – Present WHRO Community Advisory Board
2012 Citizen of the Year for Contributions to Humanity, Zeta Iota Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Portsmouth, VA
2012 Community Service Award, L.D. Britt, MD, Scholarship Fund
2012 University Professor Award for Outstanding work in scholarship, teaching, and service, Norfolk State University.
2011 Surry County African American Heritage Society’s Award of Appreciation for Service 2010 The HistoryMakers designation as an Education History Maker
2006 Southeastern Virginia Arts Association Literary Arts and Awards’ Pioneer Honoree
2005 One of six professors honored by American Legacy magazine with the Top Teacher in African American history at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Award. 2000-Pres. Multiple Year Honoree for “Who’s Who Among Teachers”
1994-1999 Awarded “Who’s Who Among Teachers” each year
1989 “100 Outstanding National First Year Teachers Award,” sponsored by the Student Loan Marketing Association, Washington, D.C. This was a national award, giving tribute to excellent teachers who had demonstrated a high degree of potential to become master teachers.