This article first appeared in “Diverse: Issues In Higher Education” on March 12, 2019

Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham envisions the role of the historian today as one who understands the present by examining the past that shaped it. In the same regard, the distinguished scholar sees history as a way to begin to talk about a more “fair and equitable” future.

“The present doesn’t just appear tabula rasa and it doesn’t just appear,” Higginbotham warns. “There are all kinds of events, visions and implications that bring us to where we are.”

When Higginbotham, history department chair and the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, thinks of the word history, it is more than a word that has been a large part of her vocabulary; it is something she has committed her life to through her scholarship, teaching and leadership as president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).


We are pleased to share that C-SPAN filmed the ceremony. The event is scheduled to air on C-SPAN 2’s “Book TV” on the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 09, 2019 | 11:00 pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Sunday, March 10, 2019 | 5:15 pm EST | C-SPAN 2

It will be also be available online after it airs on television. More information and air dates can be found here.