Profile for Richard Breaux

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Specialty area(s)

African American History, African American Studies, Black Students at PWIs, African American Film and Music, Queer Black Studies, African American Sport History, Race and Mental Health in Media, Syrian/Lebanese American History to 1965, Race and Public History.

Brief biography

I grew up in Oakland, California, and expressed an early interest in the African American history and culture. I collect 78 rpm Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel, and Arab American records and enjoy traveling domestically or internationally with my family.

Current courses at UWL

Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Studies; 20th Century Civil Rights Movement; Race, Ethnicity, & Sports, Introduction to ERS in the Media, History of Black Music, Racial Conflict in the Urban US, Introduction to African American Studies


PhD - University of Iowa
MA - University of Iowa
AB - Dartmouth College

Research and publishing

“ 'Thriving Syrian Community…Equal Partners in Democracy and Liberty' in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1894-1954" - developing into a book project

“‘Daughter[s] of the Race in Competition with the Best Stock in the Land:’ African American Women Athletes at PWIs in the Jim Crow Era, 1900-1940,” – in progress.

"Mahjari Musicians: The Recorded Sounds of Arab Americans in the Early Twentieth Century, 1912-1936," in Mariam F. Alkazemi and Claudia E. Youakim, Arab Worlds Beyond the Middle East and North Africa (Lexington, 2021), pp. 151-170.

“Tireless Partners and Skilled Competitors: Seeing UI’s Black Male Athletes, 1934-1960,” Hill, M., Hill, L. (eds.) Invisible Hawkeyes: Iowa, Integration & the Long Civil Rights Movement. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2016, pp. 141-168.

"Bessie, Queer Black Cinema, in the 20th and 21st Centuries and Mining the Harlem Renaissance", The Apollonian 2,2 (2015): 29-48.

"On, Behind, and Ahead of the Curve: The African American Presence at UD and in Iowa" in Ahead of the Curve: The First Century of African American Experiences at the University of Dubuque (pp. 9). Dubuque, Iowa, 2015.

“Fairytales, None of them Came True: Analyzing selected Black Animated Fairytales from Coal Black to Happily Ever After, 1943-2000” in Fairytale Adaptations from Black Cultural Perspectives, eds. Laretta Henderson, Ruth McKoy Lowery, (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2013): 173-185.

“Nooses, Sheets, and Blackface: White Racial Anxiety and Black Student Presence as Power in the Midwest Flagship University, 1882-1936,” Perspectives in the History of Higher Education, 29, (September 2012), 23-43.

“The New Negro Arts & Letters Movement in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska,” in Cary D.
Wintz and Bruce R. Glasrud, eds. The Harlem Renaissance in the West (Routledge, 2012): 121-139.

“After 75 years of Magic…Disney Seeks to Silence Critics, Rewrite African American History and Cash in on its Racist Past,” Journal of African American Studies 14,4 (December 2010): 398-416.

“I’m a Cartoon! The Jackson 5ive Cartoon as Commodified Civil Rights and Black Power Ideologies,” Journal of Pan-African Studies 3, 7 (March 2010): 79-99.

“To the Uplift and Protection of Young Womanhood”: African American Women at Iowa Private Colleges and the University of Iowa, 1878-1928,” History of Education Quarterly 50, 2 (May 2010): 159-181.

“Using the Press to Fight Jim Crow at Two White Midwestern Universities, 1900-1940,” in Eileen H. Tamura, ed. The History of Discrimination in U.S. Education: Marginality, Agency, and Power (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2008), 141-164.

"We Were All Mixed Together: Race, Schooling, and the Legacy of Black Teachers in Buxton, 1900-1920," Annals of Iowa 65, 4 (Fall 2006): 301-328.

"The New Negro Arts and Letters Movement Among Black University Students in the Midwest, 1914-1940,"Great Plains Quarterly (Summer 2004): 147-162.

“‘Maintaining a Home for Girls’: The Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs at the University of Iowa, 1919-1950,” Journal of African American History 87 (Spring 2002): 236-255.



Susan Kelly, Mathematics & Statistics and Richard Breaux, Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies, presented "First, But Not Last: Celebrating the Centennial of the First African-American Woman Doctorates" at 106TH Annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) on Tuesday, Sept. 14 online. ASALH is the oldest professional organizations dedicated to researching, documenting, and preserving the history of peoples of African descent in the United States (est. 1915).

Submitted on: Sept. 14



Richard Breaux, Ethnic & Racial Studies, authored the article "Songs of nostalgia in New York City’s long-lost ‘Little Syria’" in Civil Voices published on March 5 by Syria Untold. Richard Breaux authored "Songs of nostalgia in New York City’s long-lost ‘Little Syria’ A musical tour through the former capital of Syrian America" an article focusing on Syria immigrants' early music and songs about nostalgia for the homeland. The article appears in Beirut-based newspaper, Syria Untold.

Submitted on: Mar. 8



Richard Breaux, Ethnic & Racial Studies; Willem Vanroosenbeek, Pride Center; and Ryan McKelley, Psychology; presented "Race and Ethnicity; Gender and Sexuality; Abilities and Mental Health (respectively)" at the Onalaska School District's Equity Day on Friday, Feb. 12 online.

Submitted on: Feb. 12



Richard Breaux, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Ethnic & Racial Studies, presented "Jim Crow Student Housing at UIowa and in the Big 10" at UI, Racial Justice, and Political Activism on Sept. 17 in Iowa City (via Zoom). Breaux was invited to speak on inaugural panel for the 2020-21 CLAS Pursuing Racial Justice Series.

Submitted on: Sept. 20, 2020



Richard Breaux, Ethnic & Racial Studies, received the JV Educational Leadership Award at the 18th Annual International Males of Color Empowerment and Retention Conference on Monday, Oct. 5 in Raleigh, NC. JV Educational Consultants receive endorsements about outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators from all over the United States and Dr. Richard Breaux will be honored with the JV Educational Leadership Award for providing outstanding leadership within the field of higher education. JV Educational’s secret nominations focus on educational and enthusiastic technique, contribution to student retention, dedication to his discipline through scholarly advancements, and more. Breaux exemplifies excellence in education. He will receive his honor at our 18th Annual International Males of Color Empowerment and Retention Conference during the dates of October 5-7, 2020. Honorees and their support colleagues who register for the conference will attend at a reduced rate of $375.00.

Submitted on: Mar. 2, 2020