Sterling Stuckey Lectures
The UC Riverside History Department launched the Sterling Stuckey Lecture Series in 2020 in the wake of departmental conversations about our role as scholars in confronting the legacies of racism. It serves to recognize and honor our Distinguished Emeritus colleague Dr. Sterling Stuckey (1932-2018), a prominent scholar of African American history and activist who trained students at UC Riverside for over 25 years. Stuckey was an innovative and rigorous intellectual who, in the late 1960s, led a shift in the study of enslaved African Americans away from a focus on victimization and objectification toward explorations of cultural creativity, subjectivity and agency among the enslaved.
His work as an academic grew out of his activism in the Civil Rights movement, which he served as a member of Congress of Racial Equality, a Chicago youth coordinator for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and as a teacher of black history in the “Freedom Schools” of Chicago filled with students protesting segregation in the public schools there in 1964. An early influence on what emerged as African American Studies in later decades, Stuckey also viewed the historical study of Africa as an important component in the study of black diaspora populations worldwide. This lecture series builds on Stuckey’s scholarly legacy by highlighting new research in African American, African Diaspora and African history as well as historians working on race, racism and anti-racism.