|Lorenzo J. Greene
|Dr. Lorenzo Johnston Greene served as President of the
Association for the Study of African American Life and
History from 1965-1966. This achievement culminated
his life-long dedication to the study and promotion of
African American history.
Greene’s involvement with the Association actually
arose from an earlier relationship with Carter G.
Woodson when Greene began work
|Lincoln University Collection, Inman
E. Page Library, Jefferson City, MO
Wage Earner. In June 1930, the pair began a campaign to sell Woodson’s invaluable information on
the anthropological history of African Americans. History for Carter G. Woodson (1996).
Greene’s association with Woodson continued throughout his career and led to his involvement with the
fight to improve housing, children’s services and civil rights on a national level. He worked on national
committees under three U.S. Presidents, Hoover, Eisenhower and Johnson, as well as many local
committees. In 1939, Greene led an effort with Lincoln University of Missouri students to aid victims of
the Sharecropper Strike in Southeast Missouri. He worked to end segregation in public
accommodations through the Missouri Association for Social Welfare and helped to establish the
Missouri Human Rights Commission in the 1950s. In addition to numerous articles on these subjects,
Greene wrote Desegregation of Missouri Schools, 1954-1959 (1959, 1961).
During this time, Green’s dedication to the scholarship of African American history did not waiver. In
the fall of 1933, Greene joined the faculty at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri and remained
until 1972. While there, he was a proliferate writer of African American history articles and labored to
edit the Midwest Journal, a supplement to the Journal of Negro History, from 1947 to its end in 1956.
And then in 1980, Greene coauthored Missouri’s Black Heritage with Dr. Antonio Holland and Dr. Gary
Kremer. He became a noted lecturer and visiting professor at Tennessee A & I University, Southern
Illinois University and the University of Kansas. Greene officially retired from Lincoln University in 1972
and was awarded the Professor Emeritus status. He remained heavily involved with the University and
even assisted the staff with an oral history project in 1975.
Born on November 16, 1899 in Ansonia, Connecticut, Greene became the first African American to
graduate Ansonia High School in 1917. In 1924 he was graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Arts
from Howard University. In 1926 he received a Master’s of Arts in History and in 1942 received a Ph.
D. in History, both from Columbia University in New York City. Finally, in 1974, the University of
Missouri-Columbia awarded him an honorary doctor of letters degree. While attending Columbia
University in the 1940s, Greene rekindled his friendship with Thomasina Talley. They married on
December 19, 1941 and returned to Jefferson City, Missouri in 1942. In 1952, Lorenzo Thomas
Greene, their only son, was born. Dr. Lorenzo J. Greene died on January 24, 1988.
Dr. Greene’s love for scholarship and the African American heritage left a legacy and impression upon
many around him including, Dr. Gary Kremer, Dr. Antonio Holland, Gus Ridgel, Arvarh E. Strickland
and Elizabeth Briscoe-Wilson.
The following publications were listed in Dr. Greene’s curriculum vitae. He also penned numerous
articles for publications such as Journal of Negro History, Phylon, Wilberforce Quarterly (Ohio), Journal
of Negro Education, The Midwest Journal, The Negro History Bulletin, Social Science Abstract,
Newsweek, and the Kansas City Star.
• The Negro Wage Earner, co-authored with Carter G. Woodson, 1930.
• Negro Employment in the District of Columbia, co-authored with Myra
Colson Callis, 1932.
• Negro Housing, co-authored with Charles S. Johnson et. al., 1933.
• The Negro in Colonial America, 1620-1776, 1942.
• “Desegregation of Public Schools in Missouri 1954-1959”, 1959.
• “Desegregation of Schools in Missouri”
• “Battle of Fort Pillow” found in Battles of the Civil War, 1962.
• Introduction to Reprint of Daniels found in In Freedoms Birthplace, 1968.
• “The Negro in Missouri”, co-authored with Antonio Holland and Gary
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