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Village Bookstore Welcomes Professor Crowder

UC Riverside Professor to Sign Books at the Village Bookstore

Ralph Crowder’s Latest Book is on African American Journalist and Politician John Edward Bruce

(February 18, 2005)

Ralph CrowderEnlarge

Ralph Crowder

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Ralph Crowder, professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside, will sign copies of his latest book, “John Edward Bruce: Politician, Journalist, and Self-Trained Historian of the African Diaspora,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 at The Village Bookstore, 1299 University Ave., Suite 101, Riverside.

Professor Crowder specializes in intellectual and cultural history, including 19th and 20th century African American History. Professor Crowder maintains a keen interest in local African-American history, and organized the first Black History Academic Bowl for Inland Empire high school youth, in partnership with the Riverside African American Historical Society.

Bruce, the subject of his book, was a leading black journalist from the late 1800s until his death in 1924, and helped popularize and develop African American history.

Born a slave in Maryland in 1856, Bruce gained his freedom by joining a regiment of Union soldiers passing through on their way to Washington D.C. He knew major figures in African-American history, including Henry Highland Garnett and Martin Delany, both instrumental in the development of 19th century Black Nationalism and the struggle for black liberation.

Close relationships with Liberian statesman Edward Wilmot Blyden and with Alexander Crummell, a key advocate for the emigration of blacks to Africa, assisted in Bruce’s development into a leading African American spokesman.

In 1911, Bruce and Arthur Alfonso Schomburg co-founded the Negro Society for Historical Research, greatly influencing black book collecting and preservation as well as the study of African American themes. Under the byline Bruce Grit, Bruce wrote for such publications as Marcus Garvey’s nationalist newspaper, The Negro World, and McGirt’s Magazine.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize the work of Dr. Crowder and his great contributions concerning African-American history,” said Joyce Warhop, arts and cultural education program coordinator for African Student Programs at UC Riverside. “John Edward Bruce was himself a journalist. Those who read the book will find courage and inspiration in the writings, and see how challenges can be overcome in life while staying true to a divine mission.”

For more information, call African Student Programs at (951) 827-4576, or The Village Bookstore at (951) 827-7716.

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