Author and historian Lawrence Jackson has returned home to Baltimore as a Bloomberg distinguished professor of English and history at Johns Hopkins University.

Author and historian Lawrence Jackson. (Screengrab from YouTube video)

Author and historian Lawrence Jackson. (Screengrab from YouTube video)

Jackson is known for his scholarship on African-American culture and literature.  He wrote a 2002 biography of writer Ralph Ellison, author of the award-winning novel “Invisible Man” and is set to release a biography on writer Chester Himes this summer. Jackson published a memoir of his family in 2012 titled “My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War,” and has penned many other books, essays and articles.

In keeping with his return to Baltimore, Jackson is set to launch a project celebrating and preserving the culture, arts and history of Charm City, and examining how those assets could become “tools of liberation.” The project, which will begin in 2018 through Johns Hopkins’ Center for Africana Studies, will collaborate with neighborhoods and cultural institutions in the city.

Jackson also plans to establish a free jazz concert to honor Baltimore’s jazz legacy, according to Hopkins’ Hub newspaper.

“As an innovative, conscientious scholar and biographer, Professor Jackson has recast the study of modern African-American literature and culture,” Beverly Wendland, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement. “We expect that his new role at Hopkins will only broaden his influence. Beyond that, we look forward to the exciting programs he plans for the university to engage more meaningfully with the city of Baltimore.”

Jackson began his teaching career at Howard University, and spent 14 years at Emory University in Atlanta before joining Hopkins.

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO