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James Anderson


James D. Anderson is Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

In 2021, Anderson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. He was sworn into the Board of Trustees at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and inducted into the Stillman College Educator Hall of Fame—both in 2020.

Additionally, the AERA awarded him a Presidential Citation in 2020, its highest award. In 2012, Anderson was selected as a Fellow for Outstanding Research by the AERA and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Anderson was also elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008.

His scholarship focuses broadly on the history of U.S. education, with a subfield on the history of African American education. Anderson’s seminal book, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935, won the American Educational Research Association outstanding book award in 1990.

From 2006 to 2016, Anderson served as senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly. In 2016, he was awarded AERA’s Palmer O. Johnson Award for best article. He served as an adviser for and participant in the PBS documentaries School: The Story of American Public Education (2001), The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002), Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story (2007) and Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities (2018).

Among numerous honors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Anderson was awarded the IMPACT award from the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois in 2019. In 2013, he was selected a Center for Advanced Study Professor of Education for the campus.

Key Professional Appointments

  • Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor Emeritus, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Dean Emeritus, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Awards, Honors, Associations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2021

Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award, American Educational Research Association, 2016

University of Illinois System Presidential Fellow, Office of the President of the University of Illinois System, 2015

AERA Fellow, American Educational Research Association, 2012

National Academy of Education Member, National Academy of Education, 2008

AERA Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association, 1990

AESA Critics' Choice Award, American Educational Studies Association, 1989

Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, 1989

Research & Service

My past research has focused on the history of African American education in the South from 1860-1935, the history of higher education desegregation in southern states, the history of public school desegregation, institutional racism, and the representation of Blacks in secondary school history textbooks.

My current research projects include the history of African American public higher education and the development of African American school achievement in the twentieth century.


Anderson, J. D. (2022). A long shadow: The American pursuit of political justice and education equality. In Foundations of Education: Essential Texts and New Directions (pp. 27-53). Taylor and Francis.  link >

Ladson-Billings, G., & Anderson, J. D. (2021). Policy Dialogue: Black Teachers of the Past, Present, and Future. History of Education Quarterly, 61(1), [2000068].  link >

Dixson, A. D., Ladson-Billings, G., Suarez, C. E., Trent, W. T., & Anderson, J. D. (Eds.) (2020). Condition or Process? Researching Race in Education. American Educational Research Association.

Pak, Y. K., Span, C. M., Anderson, J. D., & Trent, W. T. (2018). Where do we go from here? Reflections on building institutional diversity for lasting change. Teachers College Record, 120(14).

Anderson, J. (2017). Commentary: The History of Education for the Next America. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1_suppl), 75S-77S.  link >

Anderson, J. D., & Span, C. M. (2016). History of Education in the News: The Legacy of Slavery, Racism, and Contemporary Black Activism on Campus. History of Education Quarterly, 56(4), 646-656.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2015). Eleventh Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research: A Long Shadow: The American Pursuit of Political Justice and Education Equality. Educational Researcher, 44(6), 319-335.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2015). Foreword. In D. Danns, M. A. Purdy, & C. M. Span (Eds.), Using Past as Prologue: Contemporary Perspectives on African American Educational History (pp. xi-xii). (Research on African American Education). Information Age Publishing Inc..

Pak, Y. K., Span, C. M., & Anderson, J. D. (2015). Reflections from Within: Ten Years of Service to HEQ. History of Education Quarterly, 55(4), 407-412.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2014). Du Bois, W. E. B. In D. C. Phillips (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy (pp. 246-248). [17] SAGE Publishing.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2007). Editor's Welcome. History of Education Quarterly, 47(1), 121.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2007). Past Discrimination and Diversity: A Historical Context for Understanding Race and Affirmative Action. Journal of Negro Education, 76(3), 204-215.

Anderson, J. D. (2007). Race-Conscious Educational Policies Versus a “Color-Blind Constitution”: A Historical Perspective. Educational Researcher, 36(5), 249-257.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2006). A Tale of Two Browns: Constitutional Equality and Unequal Education. Teachers College Record, 108(14), 14-35.

Anderson, J. D. (2006). Chapter 1 A Tale of Two Browns: Constitutional Equality and Unequal Education. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 105(2), 14-35.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2006). Still Desegregated, Still Unequal: Lessons From Up North. Educational Researcher, 35(1), 30-33.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2005). Can Public Schools Save America? Culture, Race, Academic Achievement, and the American Dream. Du Bois Review, 2(1), 127-136.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2005). Foreword. Counterpoints, 237, vii-x.

Span, C. M., & Anderson, J. D. (2005). The Quest for "Book Learning": African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. In A. Hornsby Jr (Ed.), A Companion to African American History (pp. 295-311). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2004). Crosses to Bear and Promises to Keep: The Jubilee Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Urban Education, 39(4), 359-373.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2004). The Jubilee Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education: An Essay Review. History of Education Quarterly, 44(1), 149-157.  link >

Mattingly, P. H., Anderson, J. D., Church, R., Curran, E., & Tobias, M. (2004). Renegotiating the Historical Narrative: The Case of American Higher Education. History of Education Quarterly, 44(4), 577-596.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (2002). Lawrence A. Cremin, 1925–90. In L. Bresler, D. Cooper, & J. Palmer (Eds.), Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present Day (pp. 154-161). Routledge.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1997). Philanthropy, the State and the Development of Historically Black Public Colleges: The Case of Mississippi. Minerva, 35(3), 295-309.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1995). Literacy and Education in the African American Experience. In V. L. Gadsden, & D. A. Wagner (Eds.), Literacy Among African-American Youth: Issues in Learning, Teaching, and Schooling (pp. 19-38). Hampton Press.

Anderson, J. D. (1994). How We Learn about Race through History. In L. Kramer, D. Reid, & W. L. Barney (Eds.), Learning History in America: Schools, Cultures, and Politics (pp. 87-106). University of Minnesota Press.

Anderson, J. D. (1993). Power, Privilege, and Public Education: Reflections on Savage Inequalities. Educational Theory, 43(1), 1-10.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1993). Race, Meritocracy, and the American Academy during the Immediate Post—World War II Era. History of Education Quarterly, 33(2), 151-175.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1990). Black Rural Communities and the Struggle for Education During the Age of Booker T. Washington, 1877–1915. Peabody Journal of Education, 67(4), 46-62.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1988). The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935. University of North Carolina Press.

Anderson, J. D. (1978). Northern Foundations and the Shaping of Southern Black Rural Education, 1902–1935. History of Education Quarterly, 18(4), 371-396.  link >

Anderson, J. D. (1978). The Southern Improvement Company: Northern Reformers' Investment in Negro Cotton Tenancy: 1900-1920 . Agricultural History, 52(1), 111-131.

Franklin, V. P., & Anderson, J. D. (Eds.) (1978). New Perspectives on Black Educational History. G.K. Hall and co.

Anderson, J. D. (1977). Black Conjugations. American Scholar, 46(3), 384-393.

Anderson, J. D. (1976). "Aunt Jemima in Dialectics: Genovese on Slave Culture". Journal of Negro History, 61(1), 99-114.  link >


Race and Cultural Diversity (EPOL 310) Study of race and cultural diversity from Colonial era to present; the evolution of racial ideology in an ethnically heterogeneous society; the impact of race on the structures and operations of fundamental social institutions; the role of race in contemporary politics and popular culture. All students must register for the lecture and one discussion section.

Race and Cultural Diversity (EPS 310) All students must register for the lecture and one discussion section.