ASALH National President – Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

Our ASALH national president, Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, was newly elected as a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in fall 2018, became the first African American chair of Harvard University’s History Department.


Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham’s appointment as the first African-American chair of the Department of History at Harvard University is significant, but not for the reasons most would expect.

Harvard has previously had Black heads of departments, Higginbotham noted, and her new role is not “the most important administrative job” as the university now has four African-American women leading colleges at the Ivy League school.

Instead, Higginbotham, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies, believes the significance of her appointment comes in honoring the legacies of those who have paved the way for African-Americans’ contributions to the field of history.

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