From Margins to Center: Reflections on the History of African Americans at Mars Hill University, 1856-1980
Presenting their findings for the 2019 Hart-Melvin Fellowship, Malik Frost and Dr. David Gilbert suggest new ways to include African-American history into the history of Mars Hill College, Madison County, and southern Appalachia more widely. Based on archival research and oral histories with both Rosenwald School and Mars Hill College graduates, the talk emphasizes the rich and remarkable histories of local black people from the era of slavery through integration.
Dr. David Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of American and African-American history and culture. He received a MA in Afro-American Studies and a PhD in US history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His first book, The Product of Our Souls: Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace, published through UNC Press in 2015, won a national Choice Award from the American Library Association for Outstanding Academic Title. His liner notes essay for the book’s companion CD was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2018.
Hart-Melvin Student Fellow Malik Frost is a junior at Mars Hill University. He grew up in Mount Airy, NC, and is a history major with minors in Appalachian Studies and Business Administration. He received the Randolph Research Award in 2019 and spent part of the summer of 2019 doing archeological fieldwork at the Berry Site Field School. He aspires to become an archaeologist.
The Hart-Melvin Archival Research Fellowship was named in honor of beloved former Mars Hill faculty members Dr. Virginia Hart and Dr. Robert Melvin. It was made possible by the Mars Hill Class of 1960 and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship supports a faculty-student team each year as they explore the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies’ Southern Appalachian Archives. For more information: https://www.mhu.edu/about/what-to-do-and-see/ramsey-center/hart-melvin-archival-research-fellowship/ .
“Unveiling Our Treasures” is an annual event and is free and open to the public. For directions and parking information, please visit www.mhu.edu/ramsey-center .
For events that happen before 6 pm on a weekday, please park in the lot on Bailey Street just next to the Greenway, across the street from Chambers Gym. After 6 pm, visitors may park in any available green or white parking space, even if it is designated “faculty” or “students.”