History, Empathy, and Race in America

In the white paper “Measuring College Learning in History” (a surprisingly good read as far as literature on assessment in higher education goes), Lendol Calder and Tracy Steffes discuss the virtues of historical inquiry. “History offers a critical perspective on the present and satisfies a natural longing most people have to situate themselves in a [Read More…]

African American Texas History in Houston

The best research projects are ones that can reasonably be accomplished.  Since I enjoy archival research and travel funds are limited, I recently began considering what projects I might pursue locally.  With a strong interest in African American religious history and the recent historiographical turn towards grassroots activism during the Civil Rights era, focusing on Houston-area [Read More…]


I have been posting a lot recently on the very diverse impact of Freemasonry on all sots of unsuspected aspects of culture. The British GUARDIAN just did a terrific piece on the relationship between Freemasonry and jazz – particularly Black Masonry of the Prince Hall tradition. I quote: “Start digging into the history of freemasonry [Read More…]

Black religion and Vietnam

On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached at Riverside Church in New York City. In his sermon (listen to it here) he publicly broke ranks with the policies of President Lyndon Johnson and the white liberal establishment (which still largely supported the war) as he condemned American involvement in Vietnam. King articulated what [Read More…]

Civil Rights and the Federal Government in the African American Experience

Last month, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington.  Led by veteran civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the event sought to provide a public demonstration of support for a comprehensive civil rights bill being proposed by President Kennedy.  Most well-known for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have [Read More…]