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Release: April 23, 2001

UI graduate student wins national competition for research funds

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Lionel Kimble Jr., a University of Iowa graduate student, has won a $1,000 award from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) to assist with travel and other expenses related to his dissertation research. Kimble, a Ph.D. student in history, will use the funds from the Huggins-Quarles Award to travel to Washington D.C. for research at the National Archives and at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University.

Named for Benjamin Quarles and the late Nathan Huggins, two scholars of African American history, the Huggins-Quarles Award is given annually to minority graduate students at the dissertation research stage of their Ph.D. program. Kimble is the first UI graduate student to win the award, which was established in 1994. He will travel to Los Angeles to attend the 2001 Annual Meeting of the OAH and accept his award Friday, April 27.

Kimble’s dissertation, "Combating the City of Neighborhoods: Housing, Employment, and Civil Rights in Chicago, 1940-1955," seeks to uncover the relationship between working-class African Americans and the federal, state, and municipal government on issues of equal housing and improved employment opportunities, and the implications these issues held for civil rights during and immediately following World War II in Chicago. He will argue that the struggle for racial democracy and issues of housing and employment, which took place between 1940-1955, fostered the development of black political activism at the community level.

He hopes to demonstrate that the changing power relationship between African Americans, business, and the federal government that occurred during World War II set the tone for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He said his project will add to the important wartime story of black Chicago and highlight both the racial and gender dimension of American citizenship.