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Scholar-in-Residence @ African American History Research Center Gregory Campus

CERCL in partnership with the African American History Research Center -  Gregory Campus offers residential fellowships for scholars whose research would benefit from the Houston Public Library special collections (particularly the AAHRC - Gregory Campus archives).

Current Scholar


Dr. Lindsay Gary

Dr. Lindsay Gary (PhD, MFA, MA, MPA) is a professor-scholar, conceptual diasporArtist, Afrocentric entrepreneur, and cultural curator whose mission is to educate, connect, and empower the African Diaspora. She graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in History and minors in Dance and Business Administration, and later obtained her Graduate Certificate in African American Studies. She also has an MA in History, an MPA in Public Policy, and an MFA in Dance, and recently obtained her PhD in Africology and African American Studies from Temple University. Gary is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston and of History at Houston Community College, in addition to being the Executive Director of The Re-Education Project (501c3), the Artistic and Executive Director of Dance Afrikana LLC, Co-Director of Ade Ile Properties (Nigeria), and the CEO of Isegun Enterprises LLC (home of Sawari Tours, Afrikanah Book Club, Gumbo: The Podcast, and more). She is the author of The New Red Book: A Guide to 50 of Houston's Black Historical and Cultural Sites, and the director and creator of "Who Yo' People?", a documentary film that explores the African heritage of Louisiana.

Dr. Gary will present her research at two lectures:

Dancing through Houston: Challenges and Highlights of Black Dance Archives March 16 | 2:00 PM @ HPL - AAHRC (Gregory School Campus)


Dancing through Houston: How Black Dance Transformed Houston March 27 | 6:30 PM @ Rice University


Professor-Scholar | Conceptual DiasporArtist | Afrocentric Entrepreneur

Previous Scholars

Viktor L. Ewing Givens

Creative Researcher, Community Artists' Collective

Viktor le. Givens is a found object installation performance artist whose practice centers around the gathering and arrangement of ancestral objects to activate spaces for site specific public rituals. By connecting the material culture of his ancestors with pre and post modern spiritual theologies, le. Givens hopes to extend and reimagine the folk customs of his family. His material archive is comprised of the forgotten and discarded household items found during excavations of East Texas, Louisiana, Havana Cuba and Mexico City. Through the accumulation of these rich cultural artifacts , le. Givens. seeks to create spaces that inspire the activation of cultural and spiritual memory.

Viktor le.Givens hosted several memory lab gatherings that culminated in two engagements to featuring his research.

"Spirit of the Archive // Sankofa as Praxis" a hybrid performance ritual and research presentation to explore the spiritual and cultural potentials in working with archives as a site for liberation and identity (re)creation.

"Folk Fest 2023" a free public, full day, cultural arts convening for community members interested in learning heritage preservation techniques through workshops ranging from ancestral mapping, food preparation, gardening, meditation, vision boarding and folk dance.


Willie Jamaal Wright

Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Florida

Dr. Wright's research interest includes the study of social movements and urban Black geographies. He has published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, City & Society, and The Black Scholar. In 2021, he co-curated Project Row Houses "Round 52: Gulf Coast Anthropecene," a collection of art interrogating the impact of climate change throughout the Gulf Coast South. His forthcoming manuscript, Deciphering Dowling Street: Place and Public Art Post-Project Row Houses, interrogates the growth of Black artists in Third Ward in the aftermath of Project Row Houses.

Dr. Wright gave two lectures as Scholar-in-Residence 2022.

"Right Beyond the Site': Otabenga Jones & the Social Practice of Belonging"

"Social Sculpture: A Neighborhood Tradition"


Camesha Scruggs

PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Camesha Scruggs is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A native Texan, she received a BA and MA in history from Texas Southern University. Her research fields are 20th century US, African American, Public History and Gender and Empire.


Camesha Scruggs gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2019.


"Toiling in Texas: African American Female Domestic Servants"


"Learning to Labor: Domestic Service Education in Texas"


Gina Bienski

PhD Candidate, Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University

Gina Bienski earned a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Houston and is a licensed architect in Texas.  Her research focuses on residential segregation patterns, community redevelopment, and neighborhood change.


Gina Bienski gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2017.


"Phases of Redevelopment in Freedman’s Town"


"Documenting Change in the Built Environment of Freedman's Town"


Maco Faniel

Educator, Scholar, Writer, Advocate

Maco L. Faniel researches and writes about African American life in the late twentieth century. He is particularly focused on writing histories of how those considered invisible, deviant, worthless, or marginal made meaning of American life. More, specifically he will now be investigating the political economy and lived experience of the War on Drugs in Houston, TX.


Maco L. Faniel gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2017.


"Houston Crackdown: Federal Mandate, Local Policy"


"Houston Crackdown: It was Bigger than Policing"

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David Ponton III

Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Rice University

David Ponton, III earned his BA in Religion from Princeton University, where he also received certification in African American Studies and secondary social studies education.  His current research focuses on residential segregation, Cold War-era transformations of race and racism, and the criminalization of space in mid-twentieth century Houston.


David Ponton gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2016.


"It Was Like a Nightmare": Police Brutality in Houston, 1950-1967   


"Mapping the Margins" Again: Intimate Partner Violence against Black Women in Jim Crow Houston


Dr. Jesus Jesse Esparza

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Texas Southern University

Received his Ph.D. in 2008 in History from the University of Houston.  His area of expertise is on the history of Chicano / Latino education in the United States and is currently working on a manuscript entitled Race Schools: Latino, Asian, and Black Educational Autonomy and Activism in Texas, 1920-1980 that offers a comparative analysis of Latino, Asian, and African American-owned schools in Texas since the end of World War I through the post-civil rights era. 


Dr Esparza gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2016.

A School of Their Own: Booker T. Washington High School and Educational Self Determination


Wards Apart: Community Preservation in Houston's Fourth Ward


Portia D. Hopkins

Professor, History Department, Lee College

Is the recipient of the St. Clair Wright Endowed Scholarship and the Bode-Wise Fellowship at the University of Maryland. Before pursuing her doctorate she earned a Bachelors in History from Texas Christian University in 2006 and a Masters in American Studies from the University of Alabama in 2008.


Portia Hopkins gave four lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2014 & 2015 on her research on Historic Preservation.


Dangerous Ground:  Assessing the Destruction of African American History in Texas’ Textbooks   


Staying Power: Fighting for Social Justice in Freedmen’s Town 

Breaking Through the Margins: Tactics of Historic Preservation in Communities of Color

Liberating Voices: Pushing Sociopolitical Boundaries through Historic Preservation    

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Uzma Quraishi

Assistant Professor of History, Sam Houston State University

Having received her PhD from the Department of History at Rice University and MA at the University of Houston, she teaches and works on racial formation in the American South after 1965, urban history, the history of immigration to Houston, and ethnic and diasporic identities. 

Uzma Quraishi gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2015 on her research on Jim Crow in Houston Neighborhoods.

Race and the City: Houston Neighborhoods in the Post-Jim Crow era 


De Facto Segregation after Jim Crow: The Transition of Houston’s Neighborhoods in Good Times and Bad 


Naomi Mitchell Carrier

Founder, Texas Center for African American Living History

Founded a non-profit organization for public education with a mission to research, document, preserve, interpret, and distribute Texas history and culture. She co-authored HCR 254, which recognizes the Underground Railroad from Texas to Mexico and coordinated three forums in collaboration with the National Park Service and Sam Houston Museum in three Texas cities. 

Naomi Mitchell Carrier will gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2014 on her research about the Texas Reconstruction Era. 


Reconstruction Era Texas: Forty Acres and a Mule  

Reconstruction ERA Texas: Scientific Racism’s Influence over Legislation, Hearts, and Minds  


Phillip Luke Sinitiere

Professor of History, The College of Biblical Studies

A long-time Houston resident who grew up in Humble, Dr. Sinitiere holds degrees from Sam Houston State University (B.A., M.A., History) and the University of Houston (Ph.D., History). A scholar specializing in American religious history and African American studies, he is co-author of Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (New York University Press, 2009).  He also co-edited and contributed to Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Protest and Propaganda: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History (University of Missouri Press, 2013).  Dr. Sinitiere is completing a book titled Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church and American Evangelicalism (New York University Press, under contract) and an edited volume on W. E. B. Du Bois's late career is under review with Duke University Press.

Dr. Sinitiere gave two lectures as a Scholar-in-Residence 2013 on his research about W.E.B. DuBois.


W.E.B. Du Bois and Racial Justice in the Lone Star State  

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Freedom Struggle in Texas  


Jenny Meeden Bailey

Independent Scholar

Received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and served as an intern in Washington, D.C., doing research and writing for the Defense Policy Analyst of the Northeast-Midwest Coalition and Institute.  She received her Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center after completing half of the requirements at the Baylor University College of Law.  Bailey was recognized on the Honors List at the Baylor College of Law and was granted membership in the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barons, legal scholastic societies, at the University of Houston Law Center.  She practiced law in Texas for several years and worked as a policy analyst in the Houston Mayor’s Office.  In 2007, Bailey's article Matrimony and the Mayors: Three First Ladies of Houston was published in Houston History magazine. In 2009, Bailey was named one of the “Great Women in Government” at “A Tribute to Trailblazing Women Leaders at City Hall”.  Bailey is passionate about the preservation of historic African American cemeteries and the history that can be learned from them.   

Jenny Bailey gave two lectures as a 2012 Scholar-in-Residence on her research of Houston's College Park Cemetery.

Hearts and Minds: From the Lives and Times of Houston's College Park Cemetery 

Houston's College Park Cemetery: The Land Reveals History  


Karen Rosenthall

Doctoral Student, Rice University English Department

Received her bachelor of arts from the George Washington University, with a focus on American literature and creative writing, and then, she attended New York University’s John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought and concentrated on literary studies. At Rice, her current research interests are 19th Century American literature and studies of collective reasoning and identity with an emphasis on issues of race relations, economics, currency, finance law, and regionalism. She was granted the Caroline S. and David L. Minter Summer Research Grant to visit the archives of William Faulkner (UVA) and W.E.B. DuBois (UMass Amherst) over the summer of 2010. Also, in fall 2010, she was invited to the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association to share her paper, "Religion as Currency in Blake or The Huts of America and Uncle Tom’s Cabin."

Karen Rosenthal's two 2011 scholar-in-residence lectures revealed her research on the 1912 Camp Logan Riot in Houston.


Houston's Rhetoric of Economic Progress and the 1917 Camp Logon Riot


Exploring the 1917 Camp Logan Riots Connection to Houston

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