a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Biographies » Nathan Irvin Huggins

Nathan Irvin Huggins

Nathan Irvin Huggins

Nathan Irvin Huggins

Nathan Irvin Huggins (1927–1989), American historian, was W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of History and Afro-American Studies at Harvard University, as well as director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research.

Huggins was strongly committed to analyzing the history of African-Americans as an integral part of the history of the United States. The center of his argument was always that without an understanding of African-American history, one could not understand what is usually called American history, but rather what colleagues said could be a code for “white American history.”

At the time of his death, Huggins was working on a major biography of the late Nobel Prize-winning diplomat Ralph Bunche and on a shorter book about the civil rights movement. His book, Harlem Renaissance, published in 1971, was nominated for a National Book Award. His other writings include Black Odyssey: The Afro-American Ordeal in Slavery (1977) and Slave and Citizen: The Life of Frederick Douglass (1980).

Among Huggins’ proudest achievements at Harvard was the establishment in 1981 of the W. E. B. Du Bois Lectureship in Afro-American Life, History and Culture. Harvard students praised Huggins for the “exceptional clarity and entertaining lectures” in a course he and a colleague taught on changing concepts of race in the United States.

Courtesy of Harvard University Library

Click here for supplemental reading about Nathan Irvin Huggins on Amazon.

Series Navigation<< Ruth HubbardSamuel P. Huntington >>

Notable in UU History
William Henry Channing

Channing, William Henry (1810-1884)

William Henry Channing was the only son of Francis Dana Channing, who was the oldest of ... Read More
Josephine Shaw Lowell

Lowell, Josephine Shaw (1843-1905)

Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell by Joan Waugh, published by Harvard University Press ... Read More
Jeanne Chall

Jeanne Chall

Jeanne Sternlicht Chall was a psychologist, a leading expert in reading research and instruction for over ... Read More
Alfred North Whitehead

Ingersoll Immortality Lectures: 1938-1946

1938 MICHAEL IVANOVICH ROSTOUTZEFF The Mentality of the Hellenistic World and the Afterlife 1940 JAMES BISSETT ... Read More