Charles Branham is senior historian at the DuSable Museum of African-American History and teaches African-American history and comparative ethnicity at Indiana University. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rockford College, holds the Ph.D from the University of Chicago, and received an Emmy for writing, co-producing, and hosting PBS's "The Black Experience."
Roger D. Bridges, director of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center since 1988 and adjunct professor of history at Bowling Green State University earned B.A. and M.A. teaching degrees in social science (history) at the University of Northern Iowa and the Ph.D. in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught Illinois, American, and public history at Bradley University, Illinois State University, and Sangamon State University, and he has published several articles on Illinois black history.
Edna Capehart left the business field to teach in the inner city. She earned a master's degree from the Urban Teachers Corps program at DePaul University. She teaches at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, where the themes discussed in the article by Maria Mootry are still as much a part of the lives of her students as the generations of African-Americans before them.
Don Cavallini is a history/social science teacher at Lexington High School. He earned a B.A. in English and history at Illinois Wesleyan University and M.A. and D.A. degrees in history at Illinois State University. He also is a part-time reporter for the Bloomington Paragraph.
Harry Daley, who has taught language arts and social studies for twenty-seven years, is a teacher at Brookwood Junior High School in Glenwood, Illinois. He holds a B.A. in philosophy, and M.A. degrees in English literature and communication science. He has participated in the Illinois Student Historian program for fifteen years.
James Grossman holds the Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and he is director of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History at the Newberry Library. He is the author of Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration (1989) and numerous articles relating to various aspects of African-American history and the history of Chicago. He is the project director and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Chicago History (expected publication date, 2001).
Jerryelyn Leonard Jones is assistant prinicipal for programming and curriculum at Curie Metro High School in Chicago. She holds a B.A. in education from Chicago State University, an M.A. in history from the National College of Education, Evanston, Illinois, and an M.S. in education administration from Chicago State University. She taught for twenty years in several Chicago schools where she employs the local community as a resource, hence her regular involvement with the Chicago Metro History Education Center. Her interest in women's and African-American history have also involved her with the National Council for the Social Studies, the Newberry Library, and the Chicago public schools.
Maria K. Mootry, who holds the Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University, is an associate professor of English and convener of African American studies at the University of Illinois-Springfield. She is the co-editor of a collection of essays about Gwendolyn Brooks's writings, A Life Distilled (I987). An editor of the University of Illinois Press's Prairie State Series, she most recently authored the introduction to a newly released reprint of Edna Ferber's Chicago novel, So Big (I995).
Janice Bell Ollarvia, assistant principal at Fenger Academy High School in Chicago, holds a B.S. in education and an M.A. in communication. At Fenger Academy she is responsible for supervising the curriculum and instructional programs and for teacher professional development for the faculty. She also serves as a citywide consultant and curriculum writer in the areas of African and African-American literature, curriculum integration, and the teaching of writing.
Shirley J. Portwood holds the Ph.D. in history from Washington University, St. Louis, and is professor of historical studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where she teaches African-American, American women's, and other history courses. Portwood's current research is on blacks in Illinois politics in the post-Reconstruction era.
Roberta Senechal is associate professor of history at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She teaches courses in American social history, including courses on the history of violence in America and the history of violence in the American South. She is the author of The Sociogenesis of a Race Riot: Springfield, Illinois, in 1908 (1990) and is currently working on articles lynching in the South and other forms of collective violence.