Ralph Luker

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Dr. Ralph E. Luker is an American historian, teacher, and the author of several books about race, religion and the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Ralph Luker founded the Cliopatria history group blog on the History News Network of George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.[1] He closed Cliopatria in March 2012 after moderating this group blog for eight and a quarter years.

Luker has taught in departments of history at Allegheny College, Antioch College, and Morehouse College, and in departments of religion at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

In 1994, when he was associate professor of history at Antioch College, Luker was denied tenure after accusations of racism by some students. Outraged by the charges, Luker underwent a hunger-strike but to no avail.[2][3]



  • (In progress as of 2003.) The Man Who Started Freedom: The Essays, Sermons and Speeches of Vernon Johns. Critical edition of the papers of Vernon Johns, the father of the American civil rights movement.[4]
  • 1996: Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement, 1941-1995. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8108-3163-5.
  • Winner of the 1992 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.[8]
  • 1984: A Southern Tradition in Theology and Social Criticism, 1830-1930: The Religious Liberalism and Social Conservatism of James Warley Miles, William Porcher DuBose, and Edgar Gardner Murphy. Edwin Mellen Press.[9][10] Hardcover: ISBN 0-88946-655-6, ISBN 978-0-88946-655-5.



  1. Cliopatria: A Group blog. George Mason University History News Network.
  2. Brian McFillen (February 28, 2007). "Starving for tenure". Indiana Daily Student. In 1994, despite having "five books in print, four earned academic degrees (and) a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize," Luker was denied tenure by Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. John Gravois. Hunger Strikes Over Tenure Denials Can Succeed and Fail Simultaneously, Says Veteran of Fast From the Past (February 22, 2007). A Fast From the Past: a Retired Scholar Talks About an Episode 13 Years Ago (March 2, 2007). Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription).
  4. The Vernon Johns Papers Project (working table of contents).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the University of California Press.
  6. Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
  7. University of North Carolina Press at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  8. Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.
  9. A Southern Tradition in Theology and Social Criticism, 1830-1930. Edwin Mellen Press.
  10. See also: William Porcher DuBose, Edgar Gardner Murphy, James Warley Miles (James Warley Miles Library at the College of Charleston).
  11. The American Society of Church History.
  12. The New England Quarterly.
  13. Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies.
  14. South Atlantic Quarterly.
  15. Southern Cultures.