For release: June 18, 2008
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey
Darius Young, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Memphis, has been
awarded a research fellowship by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Young will conduct research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
on his project “The Roving Dictator of the Lincoln Belt: The Life and Career of Robert
R. Church Jr.”
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History awards short-term fellowships to
doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and independent scholars to conduct work
in five archives in New York City: the Gilder Lehrman Collection at the New York
Historical Society, the library of the New York Historical Society, the Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the New York Public Library, and the Schomburg Center.
“The Gilder Lehrman Fellowship will provide me the opportunity to conduct research
at one of the nation’s premier institutions,” Young said. “The Schomburg Center holds
manuscript collections of the leading black intellectuals and activists of Church’s
era. This will allow me to put Church into the discussion of the African-American
leaders who provided the groundwork for the following generation of civil rights activists
during the post World War II era.”
During the first half of the twentieth century, Church established himself as one
of the most prominent organizers and leaders of the Republican Party. He would also
gain national exposure as a social activist who fought to pass legislation that would
end racial discrimination, police brutality, lynching, and economic disparities in
Young is one of 20 Gilder Lehrman Fellows for the second half of 2008. The Institute
has funded a total of 521 fellowships since 1994.