Notice from ASALH’s President

In Memoriam: Sterling Stuckey

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History mourns the recent passing of Sterling Stuckey, the groundbreaking historian whose interdisciplinary focus launched the serious study of the culture, consciousness, and agency of the enslaved. I shall never forget reading his “Through the Prism of Folklore: The Black Ethos in Slavery” which first appeared in the Massachusetts Review 9 (Summer 1968). His article stood out as the harbinger of the new slavery studies that would be taken up in the next decade by historians like John Blassingame, Eugene Genovese, Herbert Gutman, Albert Raboteau, and others in the 1970s who focused on the slave community from the perspective of the slaves themselves. For those of us engaged in the nationwide effort to bring Black Studies to our campuses in those years, we will forever be indebted to Sterling’s brilliant mind. It was his attention to history by way of poetry and art, music and dance, spirituality and the ideological moorings of black-nationalism that gave true meaning to our vision of an intellectual field of study rich in many disciplines. Though Sterling is no longer with us, his legacy will surely inspire us to continue the scholarly exploration and personal appreciation of the values, lived experiences, creative expression, and traditions that bound us as a people and armed us with hope and fortitude to resist both self-hatred and racial injustice.


Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
ASALH National President


There will be a celebration of life (no viewing; followed by interment) in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, September 8, 2018, 10:00 A.M. at The Tower, at Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 E. 67th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 773.288.3800. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations in Sterling’s name:

Association for the Study of African American Life in History (ASALH)

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

The Algebra Project

A campus memorial service in Riverside, California has been proposed at the University of California, Riverside for October (a specific date has not been established; the new school year begins in late September) as well as a memorial conference sometime in the winter. I will convey updates on those events as details become available. Meanwhile, my contact information is: 951.640.7888 (cell); or