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Hine, Darlene Clark



  • Existence: February 7, 1947 -

Biographical Information

Darlene Clark Hine was born in 1947 in Morley, Mississippi, to Levester and Lottie Mae Clark. Hine was a student at Roosevelt University in Chicago during the height of the civil rights movement. Initially a biology major, she quickly shifted to history and earned her BA in 1968. Hine continued her education at Kent State University, where she earned both her MA (1970) and PhD (1975). While finishing her PhD, Hine was an asisstant professor at South Carolina State College. From there, she joined the history faculty at Purdue as an assistant professor in 1974. Hine was promoted to associate professor in 1979 and stayed at Purdue until 1985. While at Purdue, Hine was the only tenured black woman in the state of Indiana.

Hine left Purdue for Michigan State University, where she seved as the John A. Hannah Professor of History from 1985 to 2004. While there, she helped establish a doctoral program in comparative African-American history. In 2004, Hine was hired as the Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History at Northwestern University. She retired in 2017.

In the formative years of her career, Hine specialized in political history, before eventually turning her eye to the historic experiences of Black women. Hine stated, "When I decided to become a historian, the last group I intended to study was black women.” In her early career, the study of Black women and other marginalized populations was still relatively rare; Hine was a pioneer in establishing the legitimacy of studying their historic lived experiences. Her research focus shifted after meeting Shirley Herd in 1980. Herd, a teacher and president of the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, urged Cline to write a history of Black women in Indiana.

Hine has published five books, and co-authored one. Her contributions have established Black Women's History as a subject area study within History. As a result of her groundbreaking scholarship and contributions to the field, Hine has received many awards, including a National Humanities Medal (2013), a John Hope Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), and a Diverse Issues in Higher Education Award (2018). She has also received honorary degress from University of Massachusetts Amherst (1998), Purdue University (2002), Roosevelt University (2014), and Michigan State University (2015). Hine received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, and from the Rockefeller Foundation. She was also a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, both at Harvard University.