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

Michael Blakey

Share on Social Media

Information about Michael Blakey

Profile image of Michael Blakey

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Biological Anthropologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1953
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Biological Anthropologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1953
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Michael Blakey is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Biological anthropologist and research director Michael L. Blakey was born on February 23, 1953 in Washington, D.C. Blakey received his B.A. degree in anthropology from Howard University in 1978. He continued his studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned his M.A. degree in 1980. Blakey travelled to England to do research on the biology of contemporary Londoners at the University of London and Oxford University. In 1985, Blakey received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Upon graduation, Blakey began teaching at Howard University where he was the curator of the William Montague Cobb Human Skeletal Collection, one of the largest systematic collections of documented human skeletons in the world. He has held visiting positions at a variety of institutions, including Spelman College, Universita Di Roma, the Smithsonian Institutions, Columbia University, and Brown University. From 1991 to 1994, Blakey served as the director of the African Burial Ground Project in New York City, one of the most important archaeological finds in the United States during the 20th century. He co-edited a report on the work he did there, The New York African Burial Ground: Unearthing the African Presence in Colonial New York, Vol. 1; Skeletal Biology of the New York African Burial Ground, , which was published by Howard University Press in 2009. Following the conclusion of the African Burial Ground Project, Blakey was named a professor of American Studies and College of William and Mary. In 2003, Blakey was appointed as the director and the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary Institute of Historical Biology.

Blakey has served on many boards of the American Anthropological Association and published more than forty articles on the history and philosophy of science, paleopathology, historical demography, medical psychophysiology, and racism. His work can be found in journals such as American Journal of Physical Anthropology, American Anthropologist, International Journal of Anthropology, and Critique of Anthropology. Blakey received an Honorary Doctorate of science degree in 1995 from York College of the City University of New York.

Blakey lives and works in Washington D.C. with his wife, Cecelie Counts Blakey, and their son, Tariq Blakey.

Biological anthropologist and research director Michael L. Blakey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 27, 2013.

See how Michael Blakey is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Blakey's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey discusses his mother's African American and Native American ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey talks about his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey describes his mother's high I.Q. test score
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about his mother's exposure to African American culture
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michael Blakey talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michael Blakey describes his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Michael Blakey talks about his mother's occupations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Michael Blakey talks about his father's name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey describes his paternal grandparents' schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about his paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey talks about his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey talks about his grandfather's medical practice
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey talks about his father's experience at Delaware State Collegee and in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about how his father was his mother's professor and how times have changed
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey describes his childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about his brothers as well as his family names
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey talks about his mother's reaction to the Brown v. Board of Education decision
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about his family's summer house in Cappahosic, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michael Blakey describes his childhood interest in anthropology and paleontology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michael Blakey talks about his elementary and junior high schools in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michael Blakey discusses the legacy of the Amidon Plan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey talks about the Amidon Plan and the demographics of Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey talks about his grades in junior high school and his interest in science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about the influence of his great-uncle and the Maryland Archaeological Society
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey describes his experience as a teenager on an excavation of the Maryland Archaeological Society
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey describes winning his science fair competition and the summer of 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey describes working as a summer intern at the Smithsonian
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about the importance of Louis S.B. Leakey and Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michael Blakey talks about receiving Louis S.B. Leakey's autograph
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey talks about his views on the Civil Rights Movement pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey talks about his views on the Civil Rights Movement pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about the black student union at his high school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey describes his black student organization protest in front of the White House
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey describes his black student union's activism and the changes that were made as a result
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey talks about his interest in high school in social activism and music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about graduating from high school
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey describes his parents' activism and their move to Jamaica
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey talks about attending Howard University to study anthropology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey describes his time at Howard University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey talks about Howard University President W. Montague Cobb
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey talks about his parent's support of his studies and the anthropology program at Howard University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey discusses the power struggle between the sociology and anthropology departments at Howard University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about African American anthropologists and activist' scholarship
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey talks about activist scholar Olauda Equiano
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey describes how religion was used to justify slavery
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about President Thomas Jefferson's 'Notes on the State of Virginia'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey describes his mentors at Howard University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey explains why he attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey talks about the importance of African American faculty
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey describes himself as a theorist
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Michael Blakey talks about his years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Michael Blakey describes his process for measuring childhood growth disruption from adult teeth
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Michael Blakey talks about Ales Hrdlicka, the founding father of American anthropology
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Michael Blakey discusses his paper 'Skull Doctors: Intrinsic Social and Political Bias in the History of American Physical Anthropology'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Michael Blakey talks about his graduate research interests
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Michael Blakey talks about his time at Oxford University pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Michael Blakey talks about his time at Oxford University pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Michael Blakey talks about his work after receiving his Ph.D. degree
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Michael Blakey talks about his doctoral dissertation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Michael Blakey talks about the book 'Diagnosing America'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Michael Blakey talks about the effects of his published papers