Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List

Editors’ Note: In response to Black Lives Matter protests, #BlackInTheIvory, and nearly daily updates of leading U.S. philanthropies, nonprofits and for-profits proclaiming their allyship to the BLM movement, we have questioned what role we should and could play here on HistPhil. As a first step, we are amplifying the published works of Black scholars both within and outside the United States. In doing so, we hope to play some part in disseminating existing works directly relevant to the study of philanthropy, and specifically for our own existing community of scholars and practitioners, to help expand our community’s perceptions of authoritative knowledge on philanthropy. Because while we have talked quite a bit on HistPhil about white Anglo-American men such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller and our community of scholars very much reflects this demographic, white Anglo-American men neither discovered philanthropy nor are they uniquely qualified to be authoritative scholars of philanthropy. In fact, and even if we leave unchallenged dominant definitions of philanthropy in the U.S., W.E.B. Du Bois should be credited for being one of the earliest, critical scholars of white Anglo-American philanthropy (more about this in my forthcoming book with UNC Press, *White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order*).

Yesterday, we shared much of this prose on Twitter. For the sake of posterity, we are now including this list of scholarship as a more permanent post on HistPhil. Please check back in, because we plan to continuously update this post. With this reading list on hand, there is really no excuse to keep citing–whether in conversation on Twitter, in board rooms, or here on HistPhil–almost exclusively white Anglo-American scholars of philanthropy. The work is ours to do.

-Maribel Morey, HistPhil co-editor.

HistPhil‘s Reading List:

(last updated April 9, 2021) 

Fallon Samuels Aidoo, “The ‘Community Foundations’ of Allyship in Preservation: Lessons from West Mount Airy, Philadelphia,” in Preservation and Social Inclusion (2020): (Please Note: Via Twitter in June, Aidoo noted that this article is “[o]ne small part of a larger study of philanthropists involved in the preservation of neighborhoods and commercial corridors occupied largely by BIPOC”).

James Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 (UNC, 1988):

James Anderson, “Philanthropy, the State and the Development of Historically Black Public Colleges: The Case of Mississippi,” Minerva 35(3) (1997):

Vida L. Avery, Philanthropy in Black Higher Education: A Fateful Hour Creating the Atlanta University System (Palgrave, 2013):

Vida L. Avery, Race, Gender and Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations (Palgrave, 2011):

Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (U. Penn Press, 2018):

Nikki Brown, Private Politics: Public Voices: Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal (Indiana University Press, 2006):

Charisse Burden-Stelly, “Black Studies in the Westernized University: The interdisciplines and the elision of political economy,” in Unsettling Eurocentrism in the Westernized University (eds. Julie Cupples and Ramón Grosfoguel (Routledge, 2018):

Julia Carboni, “Combined Effects: The Influence of Organizational Form and Structural Characteristics on Contract Performance in Mixed Sector Markets,” Voluntas 27(4) (2016):,_Julia/

Jason Coupet, “Exploring the Link Between Government Funding and Nonprofit Efficiency,” Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 29(1) (2018), and forthcoming works including “Do Donors Reward to Nonprofit Performance? A fresh Approach,” Journal of Public Administration Research Theory (Under Review):

William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twentieth Century (UNC, 2020):

Davia Downey, “Civic Culture in Ottawa: The Endurance of Local Culture” (with Laura A. Reese and Raymond A. Rosenfeld) in Comparative Civic Culture: The Role of Local Culture in Urban Policy-Making (eds. LA Reese and RA Rosenfeld) (Routledge, 2012):

Tiffany N. Florvil, Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (U. of Illinois Press, 2020):

Megan Ming Francis, “The Price of Civil Rights: Black Lives, White Funding, and Movement Capture,” Law & Society Review (2019):

Tyrone Freeman, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy during Jim Crow (U. of Illinois Press, 2020):

Giving to Help, Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy (eds, Tade Akin Aina and Bhekinkosi Moyo) (Amalion, TrustAfrica, 2013):

Caroline Shenaz Hossein, Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power, and Violence in the Black Americas (U. of Toronto Press, 2016):

Kellie Carter Jackson, Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (U. Penn Press, 2019):

Jasmine McGinnis Johnson, “Necessary but Not Sufficient: The Impact of Community Input on Grantee Selection,” Administration & Society, 14 (1) (2016):

Lindsey M. McDougle, et al., “Can Philanthropy be Taught?,” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2017):

Crystal M. Moten, “Pennies and Nickels Add Up to Success: Maggie Lena Walker,” (Feb. 27, 2020):

Khalil Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard University Press, 2010):

Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (U. Minnesota Press, 2011):

Una Osili: “An internationally recognized expert on economic development and philanthropy, Dr. Osili speaks across the globe on issues related to national and international trends in economics and philanthropy”:

Jessica Owens-Young (and David J. Hawthorne), “Integrating Health and Community Development for Health Equity: Philanthropic Investments in Baltimore City, 2010-2017,” Health Equity (2019):

Rand Quinn, “Beyond Grantmaking: Philanthropic Foundations as Agents of Change and Institutional Entrepreneurs,” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2014):

Noliwe Rooks, White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race and Higher Education (Beacon Press, 2006):

Noliwe Rooks, Cutting School: The Segrenomics of American Education (New Press, 2020):

Janelle Scott, “Foundations and the Development of the U.S. Charter School Policy-Planning Network: Implications for Democratic Schooling and Civil Rights,” Teachers College Record (2015):

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (U. California Press, 2015):

Brandon K. Winford, John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights (U. Press of Kentucky, 2020):

Forthcoming Publications:

Karida Brown: “Her new research project, the Origins of Racial Inequality in Education, undertakes a global history of segregated schooling and its enduring legacies on race and education today”: (and

Tanisha C. Ford: “Ford is working on the first economic history of the civil rights movement to explore how black women activists raised millions of dollars for movement organizations by hosting lavish galas, fashion shows, and beauty pageants for an interracial audience.” Ford presented this work at the Radcliffe Institute, and a video recording of the presentation is available here:

Khalil Anthony Johnson: “In his current manuscript project, Schooled: The Education of Black and Indigenous People in the United States and Abroad, 1730-1980, Johnson historicizes the Post-War migration of hundreds of African American educators to Indian Country ultimately unearthed a colonial genealogy of four generations of social reformers, missionaries, philanthropists, activists, and teachers who, since the eighteenth century, have used schooling to reconcile the founding cataclysms of the United States––the ongoing presence of Indigenous nations, free black people, and non-white immigrants. The result is a dramatic and transnational reinterpretation of American education and its consequences for colonized peoples across the globe”:

Forthcoming Dissertations:

Tiara Dungy, PhD candidate, IUPUI, whose “research interests include philanthropy of Africa, black business in South Africa, socially responsible entrepreneurship, and rethinking narratives on informal economies”:

Zinhle Mkhabela, PhD candidate, Development Studies, University of Witwatersrand, studying “the effects of philanthro-capitalist education and empowerment initiatives on shaping Black African girls’ lives.” Please see this video interview of Mkhabela:

Erica Sterling, PhD candidate, History Department, Harvard University, “studying race, philanthropy, and educational inequality in twentieth-century US history. Her dissertation examines post-Brown v. Board collaborations between local, state, and federal policymakers, philanthropists, and community organizers as they experimented with alternative models of K-12 schooling in Boston, Ma, Berkeley, Ca, and Washington D.C. from 1954 to 1993. The dissertation charts a parallel narrative to school desegregation politics, demonstrating how public-private partnerships charted the course of US education policy in the latter half of the twentieth century”:

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