Emilye Crosby

Professor of History
Doty Hall 210

Emilye Crosby has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 1995. Prof. Crosby studies and teaches African-American history and the modern Civil Rights Movement. She has received numerous awards--for her teaching, scholarship, and service. These include the Chancellor's Award for Teaching, the Harter Mentoring Award, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and the President's Award for Research and Creativity. Her first book, A Little Taste of Freedom, won the McLemore Prize and was awarded an honorable mention for the Organization of American Historians' Liberty Legacy Prize.

Dr. Emilye Crosby has been a member of SUNY Geneseo's History Department since 1995 and was the coordinator of the Black Studies/Africana program from fall 2002 through Spring 2018.  She has written A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi and edited Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement.  Dr. Crosby is also the coordinator of SUNY Geneseo's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.  She teaches a wide range of history, general education, and interdisciplinary courses, with a particular interest in the Civil Rights Movement, African American history, and women's history.

Emilye Crosby

Spring 2024

Dr. Crosby is teaching Hist188: Black Lives Matter thru Film (1 credit) during the second half of the semester. You can reach her via crosby@geneseo.edu. She has online office hours on Thursdays from 11am-12pm. 

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Indiana University

  • B.A., Macalester College


  • Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement, ed., University of Georgia press, 2011.

  • A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi, University of North Carolina press, 2005.

Essays and Interviews in Civil Rights History from the Ground Up

  • Introduction: "The Politics of Writing and Teaching Movement History."

  • "'It wasn't the Wild West': Keeping Local Studies in Self-Defense Historiography."

  • Conclusion: "Doesn't everybody want to grow up to be Ella Baker? Teaching Movement History."

  • "Making Eyes on the Prize: An Interview with Filmmaker and SNCC Staffer Judy Richardson."

  • "That Movement Responsibility: An Interview with Judy Richardson on Movement Values and Movement History."

Fellowships and Grants

  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for College Teachers, 2015-16.

  • National Humanities Center, Fellow, 2014-15.

  • John Hope Franklin Center for African and African American History and Culture, Travel Grant, Duke University, 2014-15.

  • Visiting Scholar, James Weldon Johnson Institute, Emory University, 2011-12.

  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for College Teachers, 2000-2001.

  • Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action Leave, New York State/UUP, 1998-99.

  • Carter G. Woodson Research Fellowship, University of Virginia, Aug. 1993-Aug. 1995 (dissertation fellowship).

  • NCAA Basketball Post-graduate Scholarship, Alternate, 1987.

Geneseo Civil Rights Movement Speakers

Selected Popular Writing and Online Publishing

SNCC Digital Gateway


  • "Not that Kind of Tired: Rosa Parks and Organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott," in Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement ed. Hasan Kwame Jeffries (University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming).

  • "Rethinking and Un-teaching Entrenched Movement Narratives: A Virtual Roundtable," with Frazier, Hogan, Jeffries, and Spencer, for a special issue "Expanding the Narrative: Exploring New Aspects of the Civil Rights Movement Fifty Years Later," ed. by Simmons and Mingo in Fire! The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 2.2. 2013 (released 2015), 78-108. DOI: 10.5323 http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5323/fire.2.2.0078

  • "'Looking the Devil in the Eye': Race Relations and the Civil Rights Movement in Claiborne County History and Memory," in The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, ed. by Ted Ownby (University Press of Mississippi, 2013), 266-99.

  • "'I Just Had a Fire!': An Interview with Dorie Ann Ladner," Southern Quarterly, 52, no. 1 (Fall 2014), 79-110.

  • "'The lady folk is a doer': Women and the Civil Rights Movement in Claiborne County, Mississippi," in Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives, vol. 2, ed. by Martha Swain, Elizabeth Payne, and Marjorie Spruill (University of Georgia press, 2010). Slightly revised version of a chapter originally published in: Stepping Forward: Black Women in Africa and the Americas.

  • "White Privilege, Black Burden: Lost Opportunities and Deceptive Narratives in School Desegregation in Claiborne County, Mississippi," Oral History Review, 29, no. 2 (Summer/ Fall 2012): 258-85. (doi:10.1093).

  • "'God's Appointed Savior': Charles Evers's Use of Local Movements for National Prestige," in Groundwork: The Local Black Freedom Movement in America, eds. Komozi Woodard and Jeanne Theoharis (New York: New York University press, 2005), 165-92.

  • "'You Got a Right To Defend Yourself': Self-Defense and the Claiborne County, Mississippi Movement," International Journal of Africana Studies, vol. 9 (no. 1, Spring 2004), 133-63.

  • "'This nonviolent stuff ain't no good. It'll get ya killed.': Teaching about Self-Defense in the African-American Freedom Struggle," in Teaching the Civil Rights Movement eds. Julie Buckner, Houston Roberson, Rhonda Y. Williams, Susan Holt (New York: Routledge, 2002), 159-73.

More About Me

Research Interests

  • African American History
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Women's History

Awards and Honors

  • Article Award, Oral History Association, for "White Privilege, Black Burden," 2013.
  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, 2013.
  • President's Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity, Geneseo, 2007.
  • Liberty Legacy Foundation Award, Honorable Mention, for A Little Taste of Freedom, Organization of American Historians, 2006.
  • McLemore Prize, for A Little Taste of Freedom, Mississippi Historical Society book prize, 2006.
  • Scoones Faculty Incentive Award, 2003, 2006.
  • Spencer Roemer Supported Professor, 2005-2008.
  • Harter Mentoring Award, Geneseo, 2004.
  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2002.
  • PATH Award, Geneseo, 1997.
  • Franklin Riley Prize, Mississippi Historical Society, 1996.



  • HIST 249: Amer Hist: BLM Past & Present

    A study of a particular topic in American history. Topics could be defined either by time, theme, or space: the history of New York, the antebellum era, the Borderlands, and Latino History are possible areas that might be offered.

  • HIST 266: Civil Rights Movement in Amer

    Through the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans and their white allies initiated and maintained a massive social movement which assaulted centuries of discrimination, segregation, and racism in the United States. We will examine, not only familiar images from the movement, but also the larger forces that made the movement possible. We will identify the social, political, and economic changes that contributed to the making of the Movement, paying particular attention to the African-American tradition of struggle and protest. Within the movement, we will consider such topics as the role of public leaders and grass roots activists; the role of the media; the extent and nature of nonviolence and self-defense; and the relationship between national events, leaders, laws, and organizations and local movements and local realities; and the Black Power movement of the late 1960s.