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Nelson Poynter Memorial Library -- Catalogs; Florida -- Archival resources; Archives -- Florida -- Catalogs; University of South Florida St. Petersburg. College of Arts and Sciences; USFSP Archives Provenance; Lawson, Steven F.


Steven F. Lawson is professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University. He holds a B.A. in history from City College of New York (1966), and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American history from Columbia University (1967, 1974). Lawson began his teaching career at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg in 1972. He moved to the USF, Tampa campus in 1978, but continued to teach courses on the St. Pete Campus through the mid-1980s. He served as chair of the USF History Department from 1983 to 1986. From 1992 to 1998 he was head of the History Department at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and professor of history at Rutgers from 1999 to 2009. He has written extensively about civil rights, particularly about voting rights for African Americans in the post-World War II period, and is the author of eight books, thirty journal articles, book chapters, and essays. His books include Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969 (Columbia University Press, 1976), which won the Phi Alpha Theta Award for Best First Book in 1977; In Pursuit of Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Politics, 1965-1982 (Columbia University Press, 1985), a CHOICE Outstanding Book for 1986; Running for Freedom: Black Politics in America since 1941 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 4th edition; and (with Nancy A. Hewitt) Exploring American Histories: A Survey with Sources (Bedford-Macmillan, 2018), 3rd edition.

Lawson has been a consultant for the National Parks Service, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the award-winning documentary film series Eyes on the Prize. He served as managing editor and then associate editor of Tampa Bay History from 1979 to 1992 and as co-director of the North Carolina Politics Project at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from 1995 to 1996. He has also been an expert witness in several court cases, including Warren v. Krivanek in 1985, Concerned Citizens of Hardee County Florida v. County Commissioners of Hardee County in 1989, U.S. v. Georgia/ Brooks v. Miller in 1996, and United States of America vs. The State of North Carolina; The North Carolina State Board of Elections; and Kim W. Strach in 2013.


The documents in this collection consist of correspondence, course materials, clippings and reprints of publications.

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