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

Russell Adams

Share on Social Media

Information about Russell Adams

Profile image of Russell Adams

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
This Too Shall Pass.

Birthplace

Born:
8/13/1930
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
This Too Shall Pass.

Birthplace

Born:
8/13/1930
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how Russell Adams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Russell Lee Adams was born on August 13, 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland, to James Russell Adams, a commercial farmer, and Isabelle, a teacher. Adams' family, including his two brothers and a sister, moved to Quitman, Georgia, where he attended elementary and high schools. After graduating with a B.A. from Morehouse College in 1952, Adams attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he earned his M.A. in 1954 and, later, his Ph.D.

From 1958 to 1964, Adams worked in Chicago as a Cook County probation officer. In 1965, he returned to academia as assistant professor at North Carolina Central University in Durham. He worked there until 1969; the next two years he spent at the University of the District of Columbia as associate professor. In 1971, Adams was hired as chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University, a position he has held for more than three decades.

A popular keynote speaker, Adams has lectured at many universities, including the University of Maryland, Columbia University, Georgetown University, Rutgers University and Harvard University. As a consultant, he has also developed and evaluated instructional programs and conducted workshops on cultural and curriculum diversity. His clients have included the public school districts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware; the Montgomery County Board of Education; and black studies programs at a number of American universities.

A prolific writer, Adams has published several books and edited collections, and his work has appeared in numerous periodicals. He writes and reviews articles for the Journal of Negro Education. He also served as a primary adviser and contributor to the three-volume Time-Life series African Americans: Voices of Triumph.

Adams lives with his wife, Eleanor, in Suitland, Maryland. They have one son, Russell Lowell Adams.

Selected Bibliography
Adams, Russell L. Great Negroes Past and Present. Chicago: Afro-American Publishing Co., 1969.
---. Leading American Negroes. Film. Chicago: Society for Visual Education, 1964.
---, ed. Come Join Us Brothers. Forthcoming.

See how Russell Adams is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Russell Adams' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Russell Adams lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Russell Adams describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Russell Adams recalls his paternal grandmother's funeral in 1945 and his father's funeral in 1981
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Russell Adams remembers a final conversation with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Russell Adams talks about his childhood on a farm in rural Quitman, Georgia and walking over three miles to attend school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Russell Adams explains how African Americans attempted to avoid racist interactions with white people in south Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Russell Adams talks about how his parents met in Quitman, Georgia and moved to Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Russell Adams describes his passion for reading as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Russell Adams describes Quitman, Georgia in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Russell Adams talks about his high school experience in Quitman, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Russell Adams recalls winning a college scholarship and leaving for Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1948
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Russell Adams talks about his undergraduate experience at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and Morehouse president Dr. Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Russell Adams talks about HistoryMaker Lerone Bennett and his extracurricular activities at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Russell Adams talks about his graduate studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Russell Adams recalls notable figures he encountered as an undergraduate at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Russell Adams talks about the president of Morehouse College, Dr. Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Russell Adams describes etiquette lessons at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Russell Adams talks about the campus atmosphere at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia during the late 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Russell Adams explains the influence of the G.I. Bill on HBCUs and the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Russell Adams talks about the student population at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia during the late 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Russell Adams describes the social scene at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia during the late 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Russell Adams describes the professors at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia during the late 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Russell Adams talks about meeting author Lillian Smith in 1949
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Russell Adams talks about civil rights lawsuits
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Russell Adams explains his decision to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Russell Adams talks about the history of segregated interstate travel
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Russell Adams talks about his housing situation at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Russell Adams describes the racial discrimination he experienced as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Russell Adams recalls seeking opportunities to socialize with African Americans in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Russell Adams identifies prominent individuals who taught or performed at the University of Chicago during the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Russell Adams recalls observing an ethnic hierarchy at the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Russell Adams remembers witnessing a meeting of atomic scientists on the University of Chicago campus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Russell Adams talks about segregated housing at the University of Chicago and the de facto segregation of public facilities during the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Russell Adams talks about Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s and the formation of the American Negro Emancipation Centennial Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating of Russell Adams' interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Russell Adams talks about teaching at North Carolina Central University and the philosophy of Washington, D.C.'s Federal City College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Russell Adams talks about his responsibilities at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Russell Adams explains why department heads must sacrifice their personal scholarship
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Russell Adams explains the continuing need for Afro-American studies departments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Russell Adams talks about the future of Afro-American studies departments and Carter G. Woodson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Russell Adams details the history of Afro-American studies at Howard University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Russell Adams details the history of Afro-American studies at Howard University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Russell Adams explains the guiding principles for Howard University's Afro-American studies department, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Russell Adams explains the guiding principles for Howard University's Afro-American studies department, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Russell Adams talks about economic segregation within the African American community in the post-civil rights era, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Russell Adams talks about economic segregation within the African American community in in the post-civil rights, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Russell Adams talks about the purpose of Afro-American studies departments
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Russell Adams talks about his scholarly publications
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Russell Adams talks about his research on the administrative foundations of black social advocacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Russell Adams talks about his essay collection examining the evolution of black community institutions after the Civil War, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Russell Adams talks about his essay collection examining the evolution of black community institutions after the Civil War, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Russell Adams talks about the history of collective violence against the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Russell Adams talks about reviewing history manuscripts for American publishing companies
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Russell Adams talks about the 1974 book, 'Time on the Cross,' by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Russell Adams considers why African American scholars have not published extensively on slavery in the United States
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Russell Adams talks about the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Sterling Brown and his approach to teaching the history of slavery
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Russell Adams talks about the American popular interest in history
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Russell Adams talks about the sociocultural characteristics of the individuals buried in New York City's African Burial Ground
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Russell Adams talks about the African Burial Ground in New York City and the history of slavery in New York State
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Russell Adams talks about the emergence of Lost Cause mythology and southern interpretations of the Civil War
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Russell Adams explains how the Civil Rights Movement influenced reinterpretations of the history of slavery, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Russell Adams explains how the Civil Rights Movement influenced reinterpretations of the history of slavery, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Russell Adams describes schools of African studies that emerged in the late 20th century
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Russell Adams talks about how support from colleges and universities has legitimized the study of African American history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Russell Adams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Russell Adams reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Russell Adams considers what he would have done differently
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Russell Adams reflects upon teaching Afro-American studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Russell Adams describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Russell Adams reflects upon his career choice
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Russell Adams narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Russell Adams narrates his photographs, pt. 2