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Hine, Darlene Clark (1947–) - History of African Americans, African-American Women, Medicine

black university professor humanities

Darlene Clark Hine, born February 7, 1947, in Morely, Missouri, of African-American ancestry, is the daughter of Levester Clark and Lottie May Thompson Clark. She attended an all-black two-room school from first through third grade, then public schools in Chicago. She graduated from Crane High School as class valedictorian. Among her early influences she counts her parents and her grandmother, Fannie Venerable Thompson. They taught her manners, the Lord’s Prayer, the need above all to be kind to children, and the value of humor. They and other members of her family helped Darlene, she later recalled, by “providing the essential lessons and ideas that I needed to become the Black woman, scholar, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, companion, and friend that I now imagine myself to be.”

Hine attended Roosevelt University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1968. Attracted to the study of the past during the civil rights era as a way to understand present racial strife, Hine decided to pursue a career as a historian. She imagined that a knowledge of the past would also help her live more effectively in the present. Hine received the master’s degree and the Ph.D. from Kent State University, in 1970 and 1975.

Hine began her teaching career as assistant professor of history and coordinator of black studies at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, in 1972. She left there in 1974 to take a position as assistant professor at Purdue University, where she served as interim director of the Africana Studies and Research Center, associate and full professor of history, and vice provost. Since 1987 she has been John A. Hannah Professor of History at Michigan State University, although she spent one year as visiting distinguished professor of women’s studies at the University of Delaware.

Editor of forty volumes, author of three award-winning books, and author of over forty articles and essays, Hine has been a pathbreaker in the field of African-American women’s history. Her two-volume encyclopedia, the award-winning Black Women in America , has been called “the greatest reference book on women in this century.” She has also written about black nurses in the early twentieth century, rape and the lives of southern black women, and the politics of black studies. Historian John Hope Franklin, in the introduction to Hine’s collection of essays, Hine Sight , wrote, “The history of African-American women has become an important topic in the intellectual life of this country in the past fifteen years; and Darlene Clark Hine has been one of those most responsible for bringing that subject to its current level of importance.” Hine’s most recent book is Speak Truth to Power: Black Professional Class in United States History , published in 1996. Hine, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Leon Litwack also have an edited collection, The Harvard Guide to African-American History , forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Aside from professional publications, Hine has had many special achievements. A project to create a historical archive of black women in the Middle West, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, attests to her dedication to expanding the field of history. “I knew that the surest way to change the writing of history was to make accessible abundant archival sources,” she later wrote. Hine also created and takes great pride in the comparative black history Ph.D. program at Michigan State University.

Hine has received grants and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, and the Ford Foundation. She has been a consultant to or reviewed grant proposals for the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Historical Association. Hine currently serves on many editorial advisory boards, including those for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, the Frederick Douglass Papers Project, the Journal of Women’s History , and Nursing History Review .

Darlene Clark Hine has a daughter, Robbie Davine Clark, who lives and works in Chicago. Her hobbies include reading mystery novels, walking, and biking. She is also interested in antiques, collecting books by black American writers, and traveling.

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