Category Archives: Uncategorized


Angeline Palmer, after mother died of smallpox she grew up a ward of the town of Amherst; at 11-years old she was the servant of Mason Shaw’s daughter and son-in-law who lived in his Belchertown home. In 1840, Shaw planned to take her to Georgia where he had investments with the intention to sell her into slavery.

Three Amherst men were put on trial for liberating Angeline:

Henry Jackson, local teamster who was thought very loyal to the sheriff’s office

William Jennings, oldest of the three Underground Railroad conductors

Lewis Frazier, brother of Angeline who organizes to rescue his sister

Edward Dickinson, lawyer for Angeline’s liberators.

David Ruggles, contributor to The Liberator and other abolitionist newspapers.

The Institute of the Black World and the Making of Black Studies

Institute of the Black World: 
One of the founding institutions at the 1960s birth of Black Studies, the IBW reignited the radical Black tradition by linking academic work with the Black Liberation Movement.  The IBW Legacy Group has organized seven ZOOM seminars exploring IBW history and more (see below).  You can register at this link:

History is not only about the past.  We need to use historical reflection as a guide to the future. Abdul Alkalimat, as an IBW founder, has generously opened his personal IBW archives to the people; click here:

SESSION#1: Tuesday, June 29
The Origins and Mission of IBW
This program critically assesses IBW’s role as a think tank for black struggle, discusses the role of Dr. Vincent Harding within the Institute and explores ways in which IBW’s experiences are relevant to today’s struggles. WIlliam “Bill” Strickland is the featured presenter in this opening session.

SESSION #2: Tuesday, July 13 
Understanding the New Black Poetry
Dr. Stephen Henderson, an intellectual architect of the Institute, taught in the first of IBW’s Summer Symposia in 1969 and wrote and produced the book Understanding the New Black Poetry. This collection framed the seismic shift that occurred in African American arts and letters in the 1960s. This session looks at the ways in which that shift has developed and morphed over the years since.

SESSION #3: Tuesday, July 20 
Remaking the Past to Make the Future: The New Black History
This program explores the evolution of Black History from the late 1960s to the present and its relevance to the future of Black America.

SESSION #4: Tuesday, July 27 
Education for Liberation
This session will look at our goals in the struggle for a New Black Education. As an IBW Monthly Report said in August 1973, “The education of our children is our responsibility. We cannot place it in anyone else’s hands.” 

SESSION #5 : Tuesday, August 3 
The New Black Studies
This session assesses IBW’s role in promoting, informing and supporting the development of Black Studies with an emphasis on two seminal Black Studies conferences and a variety of publications and consultancies.

SESSION #6: Tuesday, August 10 
The New Black Agenda
IBW drafted “The Gary Declaration….” With additions and revisions, it became the National Black Agenda of 1972. This session discusses contemporary black agendas against the backdrop of the Gary Declaration.

SESSION #7: Tuesday August 17
Following the Ancestors’ Footsteps into the Future
Tribute to the Ancestors.

Abdul Alkalimat, born Gerald A. McWorter, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of African American Studies and School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Amilcar Shabazz, Professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts and is the President of the National Council for Black Studies.

Critical Race Theory: What is it? Why is it important?

Critical race theory has its origins in the work of lawyer, civil rights activist and scholar Derrick Bell and Kimberlé CrenshawRichard DelgadoMari Matsuda, and Patricia J. Williams, among others. It is rooted in critical theory, which argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors. It argues first, that white supremacy in the form of societal or structural racism exists and maintains power through the law; and second, that transforming the relationship between law and racial power, and also achieving racial emancipation and the elimination of social stratification and hierarchies is both possible and desirable.


A guide to critical race theory


Key Scholars

Derrick Bell

Kimberle Crenshaw

Richard Delgado

Patricia Williams


American Bar Association

Critical Race Studies in Education Association

Education Week

Journal of Critical Race Inquiry

Equity and Excellence in Education

American Behavioral Scientist

Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives


National map of course locations





University of Massachusetts Amherst

Black Studies

Penn State

University of the West Indies

Warren Wilson College

The Controversy

National Public Radio

The Atlantic

Michigan State University


Abdul Alkalimat, born Gerald A. McWorter, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of African American Studies and School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Amilcar Shabazz, Professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts and is the President of the National Council for Black Studies.

New Developments in Africana/Black Studies


Histories of Black Studies
University of Michigan:
San Francisco State University:
University of Illinois at Springfield: 
South Suburban Community College:
Loyola (Chicago):

New Black Studies Departments
St. Louis University:
Louisiana State:
Bowdoin College:
Michigan State University:
Washington University:

UC San Diego approves new undergraduate degree in Black Diaspora and African American Studies

Only Black Studies graduate admits for U of Chicago English Department

New Houston Black Studies Consortium

Editorial | Pitt’s lack of progress, transparency on a Black studies course requirement is unacceptable

Class examines public health through the lens of Africana studies

Rowan DEI Invites Africana and International Studies Professors to Discuss COVID-19’s Impact on Africans

Black Liberation Movement Archives
Washington University Documenting Ferguson:
University of Georgia, Civil Rights Digital Library:
Harvard Documenting BLM:
Cal State University Dominguez Hills:

Contributed to by Abdul Alkalimat, and Amilcar Shabazz,

Once when we proudly honored public service and since…

From the Boston Daily Globe; Boston, Mass. March 8, 1893: p. 6.
It is claimed that the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw & the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, a bronze relief sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the edge of the Boston Common) that was unveiled on May 31, 1897, was the first civic monument to pay homage to the heroism of African American soldiers. In fact, our 1893 Memorial Tablets included the names of both soldiers of African and European descent. These tablets were displayed four years before the tribute to the 54th Regiment in Boston.
Amherst photographer Lincoln Barnes took the photo above of the Town Hall in September 1942. The Rutland VT marble tablets came to be displayed outside in the white encased structure shown here.
Except for a period during World War II, the tablets were displayed inside Town Hall until the building was renovated in 1962 and then moved to the basement before being set in storage in 1997. In 2000, Dudley J. Bridges* began working to have them restored and displayed. To begin raising money, he needed the town to establish a site for them. The then Select Board in 2001 approved the possibility of the Gates lot at the east end of Sweetser Park with the understanding that restoring and displaying them would be paid for privately. Bridges began raising money. But he got sick and died in 2004 at 80.

Today our Memorial Tablets are in the Department of Public Works’ Ruxton Storage Facility. Some members of our Memorial Tablets and Juneteenth Planning Group were to have visited the facility to look at the condition of the tablets but Planning Dept. staff canceled the mid-August visit citing the dirty and unsafe nature of the storage site.

“I went over to Ruxton yesterday afternoon and found the tablets stored in their crates leaning against the back wall of a very dusty and dirty garage bay. The space is full of large machinery and scattered DPW equipment making the tablets very hard and unsafe to access given the amount of obstacles and debris.” 

Call (413) 259-3002 or email and request that the Memorial Tablets be moved from the Ruxton Storage Facility to the Bangs Community Center, so that work may begin to inspect, assess and plan for the prominent public display of these tablets. Once they are moved we can begin to organize teachers to prepare curricular materials, grant applications, etc. to let these tablets “live” in the public eye for the foreseeable future.

To offer support or for more information, contact Amilcar Shabazz, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Afro-American Studies, at


*Obituary for Dudley J. Bridges

June 3, 2004
Contact: Inside UMass

Dudley James Bridges Sr., 80, of Amherst, retired director of Building Operations in the Lincoln Campus Center, died unexpectedly May 28 in Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Born in Springfield, he moved to Amherst in 1948 after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.

After working for General Electric in Springfield and the Springfield Armory, he came to UMass in 1973 as manager of Building Operations in the Lincoln Campus Center. In 1986, he was named director of Building Operations for Auxiliary Services, with responsibility for custodial services and maintenance for the Campus, dining commons and Conference Services. The following year, he was promoted to director of Building Services in the Campus Center. He retired in 1990.

He was a co-founder of the A Better Chance House in Amherst and a trustee of the Amherst Historical Society, where he initiated a program to display Civil War veteran memorial plaques. He helped establish a Black Historic District on Hazel Avenue in Amherst.

He was a member of American Legion Post 148 in Amherst and a board member of the UMass Retired Professional Staff Association.

His first wife, Doris (Roberts) Bridges, died earlier.

He leaves his wife, Dorothy L. (Morrison) Bridges; a son, Dudley James Bridges Jr., of Ayer; three daughters, Sharon Pariser, of Milton, Debora Bridges Henderson, of Amherst, and Lisa Rossetti, of Florence; two stepdaughters, Deborah Hawley and Carol Sheehy, both of Springfield; a brother, a sister, 12 grandchildren; a great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Town of Amherst West Cemetery Mural, or West Cemetery Improvements, Amherst Historical Commission, c/o Amherst Planning Dept., 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst 01002, or to the Amherst Civil War Memorial Fund, Bank North N.A., 67 Amity St., Amherst 01002.