The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Lonnie Bunch

Share on Social Media

Information about Lonnie Bunch

Profile image of Lonnie Bunch

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Chief Executive
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Hamburgers
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Never believe your own clippings.

Birthplace

Born:
11/18/1952
Birth Location:
Newark, New Jersey

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Chief Executive
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Hamburgers
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Never believe your own clippings.

Birthplace

Born:
11/18/1952
Birth Location:
Newark
See how Lonnie Bunch is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Historian and educator Lonnie G. Bunch was born November 18, 1952, in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Belleville High School in 1970, Bunch enrolled in Howard University and later transferred to the American University in Washington, D.C. Bunch stayed at American, earning his B.A. degree in 1974; his M.A. degree in 1976; and his Ph.D. in 1979. Bunch's degrees were in the fields of American and African American history.

While working on his doctorate, Bunch went to work for the Smithsonian Institution as an educator and historian. After earning his Ph.D., Bunch took a position with the University of Massachusetts as a professor of history, where he remained until 1983. Crossing the country, Bunch became the founding curator of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles in 1983, and remained there until 1989. From there Bunch went on to become the associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of American History, a position he retained until 2000. In 2001, Bunch became the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the oldest history museums in the nation.

Bunch published numerous books and magazine articles on topics ranging from African American history to cultural experiences in Japan. Bunch served as a trustee of the American Association of Museums and the Council of the American Association of State & Local History, and was a member of the American Antiquarian Society. Bunch was later appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House.

See how Lonnie Bunch is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lonnie Bunch interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his father's origins and career choices
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch talks about the origins of his family name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch talks about his mother and his parents' courtship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his earliest memories of Belleville, New Jersey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch recalls the sights, smells and sounds of Belleville, New Jersey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch remembers his grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch describes his upbringing and parents' influence
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the cultural composition of his hometown, Belleville, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the role of religion in his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch remembers episodes from his all-white elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his family's approach to racism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch remembers conversations with his family members
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch reflects on the cultural exclusion of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch describes his childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch shares his early memories of baseball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch remembers his junior high school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lonnie Bunch remembers historical events from the 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his exposure to black culture as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lonnie Bunch recalls an early interracial love interest, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch recalls an early interracial love interest, part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the Italian influence in his hometown
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch remembers influential people from his early life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch explains his decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his experience at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the leadership of Howard University in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch remembers the students of Howard University in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch discusses activism at Howard University in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch describes color prejudice at Howard University in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lonnie Bunch discusses Howard University's history department in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch describes his father's mentoring of neighborhood children on higher education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch considers the long tradition of black historians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch considers the history and African American studies disciplines
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his literary pursuits during college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his early scholarly interests
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch explains his decision to transfer from Howard University to American University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his decision to attend graduate school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the role of mentoring in his graduate studies
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch describes his early professional years at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the African American presence in museum exhibitions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch considers his role as a historian
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses becoming a professor at the University of Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch becomes the curator of the California African American Museum
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch remembers the originators of the California African American Museum
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch describes his approach to the California African American Museum
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his first book project 'Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850-1950'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his initiatives as founding curator of the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch reflects on his research methodology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch compares regional black communities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his appointment at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch describes diversity at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his early projects as a curator at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his role in and the positive effects of a Smithsonian exhibition in Japan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the impact of the Smithsonian Institution's slavery exhibition
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses invaluable knowledge contained in the WPA slave narratives
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch comments on the issue of reparations for slavery
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch recalls his proudest moments at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch explains his move from the Smithsonian Institution to the Chicago Historical Society
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch describes his plans for the Chicago Historical Society
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the evolution of studies in public history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch describes the role of urban history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch considers the past, present and future of African American studies
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch contemplates integration's potential
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch offers his concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch considers his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his parents and grandparents in Woodland, North Carolina, 1954
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's mother and father in their Belleville, New Jersey home, early 1960s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's paternal grandmother, Leanna Brodie-Bunch
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's oldest daughter, Katie Elizabeth Bunch
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter Sarah Maria Bunch, Herndon, Virginia, ca. 1997
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his brother and father, Belleville, New Jersey, ca. 1961
  • Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch and his wife, Maria Marable Bunch, on the Champs-Elysees, Paris, France, 1995
  • Tape: 8 Story: 14 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's paternal great-great-grandfather, Robert Lee Brodie, Neuse, North Carolina, 1959
  • Tape: 8 Story: 15 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's great-great-great-grandmother, Jane Dunn, Neuse, North Carolina, 1913
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with colleagues from the American Festival, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1993
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with others at the exhibition, 'The Black Olympians: 1904-1984', Los Angeles, California, June, 1984
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's parents and daughters at Christmastime, Oak Park, Illinois, December, 2001
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, vacationing in San Diego, California, August, 2003
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, in her soccer uniform, Oak Park, Illinois, 2003
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, playing soccer in Manchester, England, 2002
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife and daughter taking a break from vacationing in Tijuana, Mexico, August, 2003
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, on a visit to Taos, New Mexico, 2002
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, Santa Barbara, California, ca. 1985-1986
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, and daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, San Francisco, California, 1986
  • Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch on her high school graduation day, Herndon, Virginia, June, 2001
  • Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, on vacation in Kona, Hawaii, 2001
  • Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, and daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, Oak Park, Illinois, ca. 2003
  • Tape: 9 Story: 14 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife and daughters in New York, New York, December, 2001
  • Tape: 9 Story: 15 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughters, Sarah Maria Bunch and Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, Oak Park, Illinois, December, 2002
  • Tape: 9 Story: 16 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his wife and children on a visit to Frederick Douglass's home in Washington, D.C., 1991
  • Tape: 9 Story: 17 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with members of his staff from the Smithsonian Institution on a visit to Tokyo, Japan, 1992
  • Tape: 9 Story: 18 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, Tyson's Corner, Virginia, 1999
  • Tape: 9 Story: 19 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with other members of the Accreditation Council of the American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C., 1999
  • Tape: 9 Story: 20 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's mother, Montrose Boone Bunch's extended family at a reunion in Norfolk, Virginia, 1998