Black History Month, February 2021

Departmental News

Posted:  Feb 05, 2021 - 12:00pm

"Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history." Read more about the origins of Black History Month on the History website

smedley-audrey.jpg"Dr. Audrey Smedley (1930-2020) was a pioneering anthropologist whose work on the history of the concept of “race” earned multiple awards and helped shape the treatment of race in academic institutions, such as the American Anthropological Association." Read more on the Virginia Commonwealth University website 



gilbert-john-wesley.jpg"Dr. John Wesley Gilbert (1864-1923), the first African American Anthropologist, was a classical scholar who was the first African-American archaeologist. Gilbert discovered the ancient Greek city, Eretria, and produced the first map of the ancient structure. He was also the first graduate of Paine College, the first African-American professor of that school, and the first African-American to receive a master’s degree from Brown University." Read more on the Kentake Page website


hurston-zora-neale.jpgZora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an American author, anthropologist and film maker.  "Hurston became the most successful and most significant black woman writer of the first half of the 20th century. Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, she published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles and plays. Her most popular novel was Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)."  While at Columbia University, she was a student of Franz Boas.  Read more on the official Zora Neale Hurston website


dubois1.jpg"William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar...In 1909, Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and from 1910 to 1934 served it as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and founder and editor of The Crisis, its monthly magazine." Read more on the NAACP website

mullings,-leith.webpDr. Leith Mullings (1945-2020), Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, began her research in Africa with the study of religion, plural medical and the construction of personhood in postcolonial Ghana (Therapy, Ideology and Social Change: Mental Healing in Urban Ghana, [University of California Press, 1984]) Her work has centered on inequality, its consequences and resistance to it in the U.S. and other regions of the world.” Read more on the official Dr. Leith Mullings website

trouillot.jpgDr. Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1949-2012), the author of Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, was a Haitian anthropologist and historian.  He was awarded the 2011 Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to both fields.  Read more about Dr. Truillot on the NACLA website and see his Bibliography on Living Anthropologically


mcjunkin-0085-717.jpg"George McJunkin was a former slave from Texas who became a bronco busting cowboy, as well as a bi-lingual ranch foreman...His intellect and drive to learn led him to make an incredible discovery that changed the world of North American archeology forever."  Read more on the National Parks Service Capulin Volcano National Monument website

Student Activism, the NAACP, and the Albuquerque City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, 1947-1952

george-long.jpg"On 12 September 1947, George Long, an African American student at the University of New Mexico, was refused service at Oklahoma Joe’s café in Albuquerque and sparked a boycott of local businesses that did not serve racial minorities. The boycott began a five-year campaign that resulted in 1952 in the passage of the Albuquerque City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which outlawed racial discrimination in the city. The victory was secured through a combination of student activism, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) branch involvement, and broad community participation, including the cooperation of white civic leaders and Hispanics....The New Mexico state legislature, with a realistic and practical template to follow, passed an antidiscrimination law similar to the Albuquerque ordinance in 1955 to cover the entire state." Read more about this historic achievement

The University of New Mexico Africana Studies: Why we Celebrate Black History Month

UNM African American Student Services sponsors Black History Month Events

The University of Michigan 2021 Lecture Series: From the “New Archaeology” to Equitable Archaeologies: Global Lessons from Black Scholars

Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Read about the American Anthropological Association's Understanding Race Project

UNM Cultural Collaboration: Black History Celebration Will Be a Model for Year-Round Activities

Former UNM postdoc Michelle Brown (Asst Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara) Joins Current UNM PhD Stephanie Fox for a Conversation about Barriers to Diversity and Inclusion in Anthropology Fieldwork:

Black History Month Celebration Interview with Paige Lynch: Dr. Carmen Mosley

Don’t Miss It!

UNM Anthropology Colloquium presents:

torres-jada-benn.jpgJada Benn Torres (UNM PhD, 2006) Associate Professor Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, will present her research in genetic anthropology on April 16, 2021 at 10am MST. Join us on Zoom to see the talk on 3/26/21, or visit our You Tube  page to see a recording.

Read her new book: Genetic Ancestry: Our Stories, Our Pasts


Featured Lecture: Human Skin Color is the Product of Evolution and is Important to Talk About. Dr. Nina G. Jablonski

Nina Jablonski is the Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology at the Penn State University. Her work on the evolution of skin pigmentation has been highly influential in the field of Anthropology, and she has received international recognition for her contributions to the fight against racism.

Watch Dr. Jablonski’s UNM colloquium lecture highlighting her research and her partnership with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., to design personally-relevant science curricula to increase diversity in STEM fields.

Black Anthropology Online:


Society of Black Archaeologists

Association of Black Anthropologists


Important Reads:

Fund Black Scientists. Cell (Jan 2021)

black-anthro.jpgScience has a Racism Problem.
Cell (Jan 2021)

The Power of Images. Sapiens Anthropology Magazine (Nov 2020)

Anthropology and Anti-Racism. Gabby M.H. Yearwood

Race Reconciled: How Biological Anthropologists View Human Variation, edited by UNM anthropologists Heather Edgar and Keith Hunley (2009)

(Photo Credit:

Black at UNM:

African American Student Services

Black Student Alliance

UNM Black Alumni Chapter

Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color

Men of Color Initiative

Africana Studies

Fellowships and Resources