Obituary

The Journal of Southern History, August 2013 | Go to article overview

Obituary


Arvarh E. Strickland, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), made history in 1969 as the first African American appointed to a tenured position at the university. He served MU with distinction as a faculty member and chair of the History Department; principal architect of the black studies program; associate vice president of academic affairs for the University of Missouri System; and special assistant to the chancellor. Strickland has been touted as "the quintessential citizen of the University of Missouri." Born July 6, 1930, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Strickland died April 30, 2013, after a long illness. He received the B.A. degree in 1951 from Tougaloo College, in Mississippi, where he met the inspiring historian and his lifelong friend August Meier. Strickland, a Woodrow Wilson fellow, earned the M.A. degree (1953) and Ph.D. (1962) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His dissertation, published as History of the Chicago Urban League (Urbana, 1966), is considered by his peers as indispensable to understanding the urban experience of African Americans in the twentieth century. In a review of the book, Edward F. Sweat has written that "the story of the Chicago Urban League reflects rather accurately the manifold socio-economic convulsions of a complex and, at times, tension ridden urban community" (Journal of Negro History, 52 [April 1967], 161).

Strickland edited the journals of historian Lorenzo J. Greene as Working with Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History: A Diary, 1928-1930 (Baton Rouge, 1989) and Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson: A Diary, 1930-1933 (Columbia, Mo., 1996). The handwritten diaries were too valuable, in Strickland's opinion, to remain unpublished, and he met with Greene weekly to fulfill their publication goals. …

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