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Celebrating African American inventors

It’s been over 195 years since Thomas Jennings received a patent for a dry cleaning process, and black inventors have continued to change, innovate and enhance day-to-day life. This Black History Month, the team behind the Oxford African American Studies Center is excited to explore some of the many inventions, dreamed up, brought to life, and patented by black inventors.

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International law at Oxford in 2015

It’s been another exciting year for international law at Oxford University Press. We have put together some highlights from 2015 to reflect on the developments that have taken place, from scholarly commentary on current events to technology updates and conference discussions.

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15 facts on African religions

African religions cover a diverse landscape of ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and worldviews. Here, Jacob K. Olupona, author of African Religions: A Very Short Introduction shares an interesting list of 15 facts on African religions.

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A journey through 500 years of African American history

By Leslie Asako Gladsjo
This fall, my colleagues and I completed work on Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s documentary series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which began airing on national PBS in October. In six one-hour episodes, the series traces the history of the African American people, from the 16th century to today.

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The African Camus

By Tim Allen
Albert Camus, author of those high school World Literature course staples The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, would have been 100 years old today.

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Jazz lives in the African American National Biography

By Scott Yanow
When I was approached by the good folks at Oxford University Press to write some entries on jazz artists, I noticed that while the biggest names (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc.) were already covered, many other artists were also deserving of entries. There were several qualities that I looked for in musicians before suggesting that they be written about.

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African Americans at the Olympic Games

By Robert Repino
Though they were conceived for idealistic reasons and designed to celebrate universal human aspirations, the modern Olympic Games have served as a stage for the world’s political and social struggles. Virtually every political controversy — from wars to ideological conflicts to human rights struggles — have managed to find expression every four years in the athletic events and in the media campaigns that go with them. Perhaps no group has influenced the Games more — both as athletes and as human rights pioneers — than African Americans, whose very participation in the modern games has been one of many tiny steps forward in the progress toward a more just world.

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From segregation to the Supreme Court: the life and work of Thurgood Marshall

Marshall (2017) recounts one of the most contentious Supreme Court cases in American history, represented by Thurgood Marshall, who would later serve as the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Directed by Reginald Hudlin, with Chadwick Boseman playing the title role, the film establishes Marshall’s greatest legal triumph, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in which the Court declared the laws allowing for separate but equal public facilities (including public schools) inherently unconstitutional. The case, handed down on 17 May 1954, signalled the end of racial segregation in America and the beginning of the American civil rights movement. In 2013, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Editor in Chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center, spoke with Larry S. Gibson, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, whose book Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice recounts the personal and public events that shaped Marshall’s work.

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5 Guys and a Girl pick their all-time favorite NBA All-Stars

As the city buzzes around us in preparation for the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, hosted jointly by the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, we caught up with a few of our office’s basketball fans to reflect on their all-time favorite NBA All-Stars — and their entries in the Oxford African American Studies Center. Without further ado, Oxford University Press New York’s 5 Guys and a Girl weigh in

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Jim Downs on the Emancipation Proclamation

The editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center spoke to Professor Jim Downs, author of Sick From Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction, about the legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years after it was first issued. We discuss the health crisis that affected so many freedpeople after emancipation, current views of the Emancipation Proclamation, the reception of Professor Downs’s book, and the insights the book can give us into the public health crises of today.

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Congratulations, young historians

In an effort to broaden its outreach to American high schools, the Oxford African American Studies Center, in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, initiated a research project competition exclusively for high school students in the Fall of 2010. Participating students researched and wrote biographies on prominent African Americans, with the top articles being selected for publication in the online African American National Biography.

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