Gerald L. Smith

  • Professor
  • History
1773 Patterson Office Tower
859-257-1357
Research Interests:
Education

Ph.D., Kentucky, 1988

Office Hours

Spring 2017: T 1:30 - 3:00, W 1:30 - 3:00

Biography

Gerald L. Smith is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. He earned his B.A, M.A., and Ph. D degrees from the University of Kentucky in history. He taught at the University of Memphis from 1988-1993. He is a full professor of history and is a former holder of both  the Theodore A. Hallam Professorship and  the  Martin Luther King Center Scholar-in Residence  at the University of Kentucky. From 1997-2005, he served as the director of the African American Studies and Research Program at UK.

Dr. Smith is the author, editor, or co-editor of four books. He has more than  forty articles, essays, and book reviews published in historical journals and encyclopedias. He has served as a keynote speaker for  numerous programs, consulted on various historical projects, lectured on college campuses around the state, and conducted workshops for primary and secondary school teachers. He has  appeared in historical documentaries which have aired on CBS, NBC, KET, the CBS Sports Network, and TruTV.  Dr. Smith is co-editor of the award winning Kentucky African American Encyclopedia which was recognized with  the Kentucky Archives Month Certificate for Merit for Writing/Publication and the Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book in  2015 as well as the Kentucky Historical Society Publication Award for 2016. Professor Smith is currently researching and writing a new general history on Kentucky African Americans.

Over the years, he has served on a number of different boards and committees and now serves as chair of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. His awards include: selection as a National Faculty Scholar (1997); Who’s Who Among African Americans (2000);  induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia ( March 2000), and  the Evelyn Black Award from the UK Black Student Union (2005, 2017). He is a 2006  inductee into the Henry Clay High School Hall of Fame in Lexington, Kentucky; a recipient of the 2011 Richard H. Collins Award from the Kentucky Historical Society, and, one of six professors on campus chosen by the UK Alumni Association to receive the 2013 Great Teacher Award. In 2014 the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Personnel Cabinet presented him with the annual Charles W. Anderson Laureate (Medal) Award, its highest award given to individuals recognized for significant contributions to equal opportunity in their communities. He received the Racial Reconcilation Award  (2015) and The Kente Cloth Award (2017) from Campbellsville University. He was named a recipient of the 2016 Living Legacy Award during the 13th annual Black History Month Celebration  at the  Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. He was recognized as the Outstanding Professor by Fraternity and Sorority Greek Life at UK in 2017.

Dr. Smith is also the pastor of  Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is married to the former Teresa Turner. They are the parents of two daughters.

Research

Current Research: A monograph on Kentucky African American History from the frontier years to the present.

Courses Taught: Race and Sports
Civil Rights Movement in the US Since 1930
African American Urban History, Race Relations
Readings in African American History
Kentucky African American Experience

Current Students

Selected Publications: 
  • Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin,  The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, (2015)
  •  
  • Clayborne Carson, Senior Editor: Volume Editors, Susan Carson, Susan Englander, Troy Jackson, Gerald L. Smith, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr:  Advocate  of  the  Social Gospel, September 1948-1963 Volume VI (2001)
  •  
  • Gerald L. Smith, Editor, Black America Series: Lexington, Kentucky (2001)
  •  
  • Gerald L. Smith, A Black Educator in the Segregated South: Kentucky's Rufus B. Atwood, (1994)
 
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Selected Articles:

  • "Straining To Hear Their Thoughts and Desires": Researching and Writing the African American Experience in Kentucky, Register of the Historical Society, Spring/Summer 2015.
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  • Guest Editor, Exploring Kentucky's African American Past, "So Much Remains To Be Told"  (Introduction) and "Direct Action Protests in the Upper South: Kentucky Chapters of the Congress of Racial Equality, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Summer/Autumn 2011
  •  
  • "Slavery and Abolition in Kentucky: "Patter-rollers were everywhere" in Eds. James C. Klotter & Daniel Rowland, Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852, University Press of Kentucky, 2012

 

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