News

Fifty years separate the days when Claudius “C.B.” Claiborne and Michelle Staggers completed their undergraduate degrees at Duke. But a conversation held February 28 made clear that the former student-athletes had plenty of shared experiences, along with a few key differences. Now a professor of business and marketing in the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University, Claiborne was the first African American basketball player at Duke and earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Staggers was a member of… read more about Two Former Student-Athletes Discuss Duke History and Hope for the Future »

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appointed Duke Professor Charmaine Royal as co-chair of a newly formed committee addressing challenging issues surrounding the use of “race” and other population labels in human genetics research. Royal is the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health. She also serves as director of Duke’s Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Duke Center for Truth,… read more about Royal Named Co-Chair of National Academies Panel on Race and Genetics Research »

When Michaeline Crichlow moved from her native St. Lucia to upstate New York, she had a lot to learn — and not just in the graduate program she attended at Binghamton University. “I became a Black person not in the Caribbean, but in the United States,” said the professor and interim chair of African & African American Studies. Race wasn’t often discussed in St. Lucia, where the vast majority of the population is Black. The rare times it was, the conversation wasn’t about Black and white, but the Indo-Caribbean peoples… read more about What Decolonization Means »

Sidney Poitier, who was the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor, has died at age 94. Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African & African American Studies, says the actor was a “trusted racial interlocutor” who provided a “template” for other Black men. “There's a scene in the 1963 film ‘Lilies of the Field’ where Sidney Poitier, who earned his first Oscar for his performance and the first for a Black American, painstakingly teaches a group of German nuns the song ‘Amen… read more about Sidney Poitier ‘Carried a Unique Burden of Representation,’ Professor Says »

There are times when a Duke author has knowledge to share but it just won't work as a scholarly publication. The books below all address large issues, from fighting tyranny to facing death, but they come through the personal stories of the authors.  These books, along with many others, are available at Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop. No Cure for Being Human (and other truths I need to hear), by Kate Bowler Kate Bowler believed that life was a series… read more about 10 Duke-Authored Memoirs Have Stories to Tell »

An unconventional National Hispanic Heritage Month panel held Oct. 12 at Duke unpacked and thoroughly discussed many complexities found within the Latinx identity, particularly for those living in the U.S. South. Its organizers aimed to shine a light on growing academic expertise on Latinx issues in the Triangle, while also urging Duke and surrounding institutions to reinvest in regional histories that provide an architecture for understanding the challenges and opportunities we face today. “To me this feels like the best… read more about Latinx in the U.S. South: Scholars from Duke, UNC Discuss the Complexity of Identity, History and Language »

More than 50 people gathered in a Duke classroom both in-person and remotely this September to consider whether “Truth is a Linguistic Question” – a prompt provided by faculty leading the ongoing Sawyer Seminar Series on language discrimination in fragile and precarious communities. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the series launched in spring 2020 and continued throughout the pandemic thanks to a combination of perseverance and the power of Zoom. This latest seminar kicked off a slate of events for this fall.… read more about ‘Truth is a Linguistic Question’ Talks by Five Trinity Scholars Relaunch Series on Language Discrimination »

DURHAM, N.C. — During the decade-long economic recovery following the Great Recession, Black households lost much more wealth than white families, regardless of class or profession, according to new research from Duke University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center for Social Equity. Notably, while most other groups experienced an economic recovery between 2010 and 2019, Black professionals suffered losses in wealth, the authors found. Meanwhile, Black working-class families remained in the worst overall economic position. As a… read more about Race, Not Job, Predicts Economic Outcomes for Black Households  »