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Nell Irvin Painter

Historian and educator Nell Irvin Painter was born on August 2, 1942 in Houston, Texas to Frank Edward Irvin, a chemist, and Dona Lolita McGruder, a writer and personnel officer. As an infant, Painter’s family moved to Oakland, California, where she attended public schools. In 1964, Painter received her B.S. honors degree in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. As an undergraduate, she studied French medieval history at the University of Bordeaux, France, in 1962 and 1963. She also studied abroad at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana from 1965 to 1966. Painter went on to receive her M.A. degree in African history from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1967, and her Ph.D. degree in American history from Harvard University in 1974.

Upon graduation from Harvard University, Painter was hired as an assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania; and in 1977, was promoted to associate professor. From 1980 to 1988, she worked as a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then, in 1988, Painter was hired as a professor of history at Princeton University, and was named acting director of the university’s program in Afro-American Studies in 1990 and 1991. She served as Princeton University’s Edwards Professor of American History from 1991 to 2005, and as director of the Program in African American Studies from 1997 to 2000. Painter retired in 2005 and was named the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita. In addition to her work as a scholar, Painter received her B.F.A. degree in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009; her M.F.A. degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011; and has exhibited her artwork in solo and group shows.

Painter has published numerous articles and reviews, and has written seven books, including Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction (1976); The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South (1979); Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919 (1989); Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (1996); Southern History Across the Color Line (2002); Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present (2005); and The History of White People (2010). She is the editor of Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1998) and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (2000).

Painter has held numerous fellowships, been awarded five honorary doctorate degrees, and was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. She has served on a number of editorial boards, and as an officer of many professional organizations, including the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Antiquarian Society, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Society of American Historians, and the Association of Black Women Historians. In addition, she served as president of the Southern Historical Association in 2007 and of the Organization of American Historians from 2007 to 2008.

Painter lives in Newark, New Jersey with her husband, Glenn Shafer.

Nell Irvin Painter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/18/2014 |and| 6/20/2014

Last Name

Painter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Irvin

Occupation
Schools

Rhode Island School of Design

Rutgers University

Harvard University

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Ghana

University of Bordeaux

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

Nell

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

PAI01

State

Texas

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

8/2/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Short Description

Historian and educator Nell Irvin Painter (1942 - ) , former president of the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, was a leading historian of American history. Her books include Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction; The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South; Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919; Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol; and The History of White People.

Employment

Princeton University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Pennsylvania

Clayborne Carson

African American history professor Clayborne Carson was born on June 15, 1944 in Buffalo, New York to parents Clayborne Carson and Louise (Lee) Carson. He grew up near Los Alamos, New Mexico. Carson attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he studied history and graduated with his B.A. degree in 1967, his M.A. degree in 1971, and his Ph.D. degree in 1975.

Prior to academia, Carson worked as a laboratory assistant at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, an editor for Audience Studies, Inc., a staff writer for the Los Angeles Free Press, and a computer programmer in the Survey Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the faculty of the history department at UCLA as an acting assistant professor in 1971, before being hired as assistant professor at Stanford University in 1974. Caron was promoted to associate professor at Stanford University in 1981. In 1985, Coretta Scott King requested that Carson became senior editor of an ongoing multi-volume project, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Carson was promoted to professor of American history in 1991, and became founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute in 2005. Carson’s academic appointments outside Stanford University include teaching and lecturing in Great Britain, France, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania; as well as visiting professorships at the American University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Emory University.

Carson contributions include works of fiction and non-fiction, documentaries, and other creative productions. His most notable scholarship includes, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) and In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960’s (1981). He served as senior advisor for the Public Broadcasting System’s (PBS) fourteen-part documentary series “Eyes on the Prize”; and as historical advisor for the motion pictures “Freedom on My Mind” (1995), “Chicano!” (1996), and “Blacks and Jews” (1997). Carson, along with Roma Design Group, created the winning proposal in an international competition to design a national memorial for King in Washington, D.C.; and he authored “Passages of Martin Luther King” (1993), a docudrama.

As a member of professional organizations, Carson has been considerably active throughout his career. Those affiliations include: the American Historical Association (AHA), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the Social Science History Association (SSHA), the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASAALH), and the Southern Historical Association. In 1995, Carson received the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award for, In Struggle: . In addition, he served as an Andrew Mellon Fellow at Stanford University, the Center for the Study of Civil Rights and Race Relations at Duke University, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Carson lives with his wife, Susan Ann Carson, who until her retirement was the managing editor of the King Papers Project, in Palo Alto, California. They have two children: Malcolm Carson, an attorney; and Temera Carson, a social worker.

Clayborne Carson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.257

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/7/2013 |and| 12/12/2015

Last Name

Carson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Clayborne

Birth City, State, Country

Buffalo

HM ID

CAR27

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/15/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Stanford

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

African american history professor Clayborne Carson (1944 - ) served as professor of American history at Stanford University, senior editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., and as founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.

Employment

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Audience Studies, Inc.

Los Angeles Free Press

University of California, Los Angeles Survey Research Center

University of California, Los Angeles

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley

American University

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, Stanford University

Emory University

L'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales

Morehouse College

Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

Favorite Color

Blue