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Howard Dodson, Jr., was born this date in 1939, in Chester, PA. He is a Black historian, writer, administrator, and lecturer.
Dodson attended West Chester State College, where he studied social studies and English with an emphasis on secondary education. He graduated in 1961 and went on to Villanova University, where he earned an M.A. in U.S. history and political science in 1963. A year later, Dodson went to Ecuador with the Peace Corps where he directed credit union education programs for the National Credit Union Federation.
In 1967, Dodson directed minority recruitment and campus recruiting for the Peace Corps. From 1974 to 1979, he served as executive director of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta, and taught classes at Emory University. Dodson was a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) until 1984 when he was hired as director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, the world's leading and most prestigious repository for materials and artifacts on black cultural life, where he remains today. Currently, Dodson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dodson has committed his professional life to the retrieval, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of the history and culture of African and African American peoples. Under his guidance, the Schomburg Center has sustained tremendous growth. Dodson has been active throughout his life in a number of other projects. He was part of the Black Theology Project Conference held in Cuba, which brought Fidel Castro into the religious community for the first time in decades. He has produced a number of exhibitions and festivals celebrating Black History and African American life.
Dodson is also the author of several books and articles and the recipient of numerous awards, including being named to the President's Commission on the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Malcolm X Museum Award. He serves on the boards of directors of the Apollo Theater Foundation and the UNESCO Slave Route Project, among many others.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
New York Public Library
New York, NY