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Remembering Lucile:A Virginia Family's Rise from Slavery and a Legacy Forged a Mile High

Call 703-737-7195 for information about the event at the Thomas Balch Library on Sunday, 23 September 2018 at 2PM.

The event will also be presented the day before at the Oatlands Carriage House. For information about the event on Saturday, 22 September 2018 at 1PM, call 703-777-3174.

Polly E. Bugros McLean

Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Jones, born to freed people formerly enslaved at Oatlands and Evergreen plantations, became the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Colorado when she received her bachelor’s degree in 1918. Remembering Luciledepicts the rise of the African American middle class through the historical journey of Lucile and her family from slavery in northern Virginia to life in the American West. The story of the Jones family is used as a lens into the experience of middle-class Blacks in the early twentieth centuryRemembering Lucileemploys a unique blend of Black feminist historiography and larger discussions of race, gender, class, religion, politics, and education to illuminate major events in African American history and culture. The work also traces the history of the University of Colorado and the ways in which university administration and faculty treated Black students and alumni. This biography paints a vivid picture of a Black woman who lived through an extraordinary time in American history and rectifies her omission from the institutional history and memory of the University of Colorado. The book fills an important gap in the literature of the history of Blacks in the Rocky Mountain region and will be of significance to anyone interested in American history.

The two talks will focus on different aspects of Professor McLean’s research. The presentation at Oatlands will concentrate on the Buchanan family’s association with Oatlands while the presentation at Thomas Balch Library will focus on the larger picture of the rise of an African American middle class through the Lucille Buchanan’s life. Books will be available for purchase at both sites.

Polly E. Bugros McLean, an associate professor of Media Studies and affiliated faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, received a Master’s from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin. Her pedagogical and research interests include Intersectionality; cultural and critical theory; issues of racialized representations; African American women’s history, and globalization as it pertains to Southern Africa. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Zambia, Howard University, as well as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Namibia. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2007 Robert L. Stearns Award, the 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for teaching excellence, and the 2014 Best Should Teach Gold Award.