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Northwestern University
Darlene Clark Hine in her officeleft

Making It Matter: Darlene Clark Hine

A pioneering scholar in the field of African American women's history, Hine is the Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and a professor of history at Northwestern.

My personal code consists of passion, hard work, and sharing the fruits of intellectual labors with others. The goal is to become a transformative agent in the struggle against social inequalities, ignorance and exploitation. What does that mean? Whatever your talent is, you must share it with great passion. That’s really hard to do, because in our society we tend to look askance at people with great passion. But that’s the key, because it will take you through a lifetime. Then you have to turn it into something tangible, by engaging in service. The last part is sharing your knowledge with people.

My passion was history. I believed and still do believe that many of the problems that we face today have their genesis in actions, belief systems and misdeeds that occurred in the past. So I have devoted the last four decades to excavating the past — trying to find records and documents and stories from those who are not ordinarily included as significant participants in the making of America. I found the sources, talked to people, heeded their stories and learned from them. I began to write a new, more inclusive history of the United States, [because] part of my obligation as a professor is to share what I’ve learned not only within the university, but also with ­people outside the gates, from all different walks of life.

Making It Matter: Seven Perspectives

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