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Black Journalist, Politician, Historian Discussed

UCR Ethnic Studies Professor Discusses Black Journalist, Politician, & Historian

Ralph Crowder to discuss his book on John Edward Bruce

(February 1, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies Ralph Crowderwill read from and discuss his 2004 book “John Edward Bruce: Politician, Journalist, and Self-Trained Historian of the African Diaspora,” (New York University Press) from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb.16, in Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Tomás Rivera Library at the University of California, Riverside, 900 University Ave. The event is free and will be web cast For more information call Special Collections at the UCR Libraries at (951) 827—3233.

Professor Crowder holds a doctorate from the University of Kansas doctoral program, and specializes in intellectual and cultural history, including 19th and 20th century African American history, pan-African history, Native American slavery history, and the black / Indian experience. The New York University Press published “John Edward Bruce.”

Bruce was a leading black journalist from the late 1800s until his death in 1924 and was a vital force in the popularization of African American history. “Bruce Grit,” as he was called, wrote for such publications as Marcus Garvey’s nationalist newspaper, The Negro World, and McGirt’s Magazine.

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, which greatly influenced black book collecting and preservation as well as the study of African American themes.

Crowder’s presentation is the fourth of the UCR Libraries’ Author Series for 2004-2005. The monthly series, which began in September 2002, brings the riches of the campus libraries and the talent of UCR faculty and staff to the community. According to organizer Melissa Conway, head of UCR Libraries’ Special Collections, the authors are all affiliated in some way with UC Riverside. All UCR Libraries’ Author Series events are free and open to the public.

Parking on campus is $6 per vehicle for the day or may be purchased for shorter periods at $2 per hour. Parking permits are available at the information kiosks near the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive/ Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrances.

All events in the UCR Libraries’ Author Series take place on Wednesdays and will include:

  • March 23, 2005 - Katherine Kinney, associate professor and graduate advisor, Department of English, discussing “Friendly Fire: American Images of the Vietnam War” (Oxford University Press, 2000).

  • April 20, 2005 - Christopher Buckley, professor, Department of Creative Writing, reading from “Sky” (Sheep Meadow Press, 2004).

  • May 18, 2005 — Norman C. Ellstrand, professor of genetics, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, discussing “Dangerous Liaisons?: When Cultivated Plants Mate with their Wild Relatives”(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

The UC Riverside Libraries are the focal points for research and study on campus. Their collections include 2,081,146 volumes, 12,444 serial subscriptions and 1,672,042 microforms housed in five facilities: the Tomás Rivera Library (serving the humanities, arts and social sciences); the Science Library; the Music Library; Media Library; and Special Collections, housing rare books and manuscripts, and unique archival resources.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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University of California, Riverside
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Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
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