Morehouse College professor and Black Atlanta Historian Dr. Alton Hornsby died in Atlanta on September 1, 2017.
Alton Hornsby Jr. earned a Bachelors degree in history from Morehouse College and M.A. and Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas (Austin), where he held a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Southern Education Foundation Fellowship and a University Fellowship. Professor Hornsby is Fuller E. Callaway Professor of History at Morehouse College. For 25 years (between 1976 and 2001), he edited the Journal of Negro History for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He has also edited “The Papers of John and Lugenia Burns Hope” for Blackwell’s Companion to African American History and the Dictionary of Twentieth Century Black Leaders.
In 2004, he wrote the Introduction for the 17th edition of Who’s Who Among African Americans. Among his most recent works are A Short History of Black Atlanta, 1847-1990, “Southerners Too?: Essays on the Black South, 1773-1990,” for the Dictionary of Twentieth Century Black Leaders (editor-in-chief and contributor), The Atlanta Urban League, 1920-2000 (with Alexa B. Henderson; winner of the Adele Mellon Prize for distinguished scholarship), A Biographical History of African Americans, and From the Grassroots: Profiles of Contemporary Black Leaders (with Angela M. Hornsby),
Hornsby has been president of the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists and the Southern Conference on African American Studies. He has served on the executive council of the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the Southern Historical Association.
Hornsby served for 42 years on the Morehouse faculty. He was also chair of the department of history for 30 consecutive years.
One of the nation’s leading scholars in African-American history and African-American studies, Hornsby also published at least 20 books during his tenure at Morehouse. While at Morehouse, he served on numerous committees, including chair of the Benjamin E. Mays Lecture Committee, as well as numerous committees in his profession. He won many prizes and awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.
In the spring leading up to his retirement in 2010, several dozens of his former and then-present students, colleagues, and friends gathered in Atlanta for a three-day celebration of his retirement. The events culminated with a Testimonial Brunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta Airport.
A repository of some of his work can be found at the BlackPast.org, an online reference guide to African American History.