About The Project

Perspectives on History launched the Long Overdue project in 2023 as part of the Racist Histories and the AHA initiative. Long Overdue aims to publish obituaries for historians of color whose passing the AHA did not mark.

The AHA has acknowledged and honored historians for nearly 130 years through obituaries and tributes in its publications. Starting with the first issue of the American Historical Review in 1895 and moving to Perspectives on History in 1980, AHA obituaries offer insight into who was considered a member of the community of professional historians—and omissions suggest who was not. Along with publication of scholarship and participation in the annual meeting, obituaries are yet another site where people of color, white women, and other marginalized people were unwelcome in the AHA membership and the discipline.

Long Overdue obituaries will honor those who fit these criteria:

  • Must have been a person of color
  • Must have been a working historian
  • Must have died after 1895
  • Did not receive an AHR or Perspectives obituary

Want to Help?

The AHA needs your help with this project. We welcome suggestions for historians who fit these criteria. (You can search our database to see if a historian was already included.) We are also looking for writers to work with us on these short essays. Questions? Email senior managing editor Laura Ansley (lansley@historians.org).

Featured Historians

From left to right, W. E. B. Du Bois (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/CC0); Anna Julia Cooper (Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution); Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, New York Public Library)

Long Overdue Obituaries

Long Overdue obituaries should be approximately 700 words. They should focus on the subject’s professional life, but above all should be a historian’s appreciation of a fellow historian, including their influence on colleagues, institutions, their field, and the discipline.