Darlene Clark Hine

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Darlene Clark Hine
Darlene Clark

1947 (age 75–76)
Morley, Missouri, United States
Alma materRoosevelt University; Kent State University
Occupation(s)Author and professor
Notable workBlack Women in Whites
Black Women in America

Darlene Clark Hine (born February 7, 1947) is an American author and professor in the field of African-American history. She is a recipient of the 2014 National Humanities Medal.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Darlene Clark was born in Morley, Missouri, the oldest of four children of Levester Clark, a truck driver, and Lottie Mae Clark.[2] She married William C. Hine in 1970 and divorced in 1974. She married Johnny E. Brown in 1981 and divorced in 1986 and has one daughter, Robbie Davine.

Hine received her BA degree in 1968 from Roosevelt University, her MA from Kent State University in 1970 and her PhD in 1975 from the same institution.[3]


From 1972 to 1974, Hine worked as an assistant professor of history and black studies at South Carolina State College, from 1974 to 1979 she was an assistant professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and from 1979 to 1985 an associate professor at Purdue.

From 1985 to 2004, Hine served as the John A. Hannah Professor of History at Michigan State University in East Lansing.[4] She helped to establish one of the first doctoral programs in comparative black history. She also helped edit a series on African-American history in the United Statesman Milestones in African American History.

In 2004, Hine joined Northwestern University as the Board of Trustees Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of History. She retired from the university in 2017.[5]

Culture of dissemblance[edit]

In 1989, in an article titled "Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance", Hine introduced the concept of a "culture of dissemblance". She defined dissemblance as "the behavior and attitudes of Black women that created the appearance of openness and disclosure but actually shielded the truth of their inner lives and selves from their oppressors."[6] The concept helped Hine identify why "African-American women developed a code of silence around intimate matters as a response to discursive and literal attacks on black sexuality."[7] It also diversified the list of reasons Black women might have migrated North, citing "sexual violence and abuse as [catalysts] for migration."[8]

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham has written that the culture of dissemblance was especially relevant to Black women "of the middle class".[9] In the original article, Hine states that the most "institutionalized forms" of the culture of dissemblance exist in the creation of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs in 1896.[10]


Hine wrote three books about African-American women's history.[11] Her book Black Women in Whites was named Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Myers Center Of Study of Human Rights.[12] She edited a two-volume encyclopedia, Black Women in America, first published in 1993. Her book A Shining Thread of Hope was favorably reviewed in The New York Times.[13] She co-edited with John McCluskey Jr The Black Chicago Renaissance (2012).[14]

Hines' papers are preserved in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.[15]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Because of her expertise on the subject of race, class, and gender in American society,[16] Hine received the Otto Wirth Alumni Award for outstanding scholarship from Roosevelt University in 1988 and the Special achievement award from Kent State University Alumni Association in 1991. Hine was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in 1998, Amherst from Purdue University in 2002.[clarification needed] She served as president of the Organization of American Historians from 2001 to 2002.[17]

In 2010, the Organization of American Historians presented the inaugural Darlene Clark Hine Award for best book in African American Women and Gender History.[18]

Hine was presented in 2013 with a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, for her work on understanding the African-American experience.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ sfast (2014-07-29). "Darlene Clark Hine awarded National Humanities Medal". Illinois Press Blog. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  2. ^ Jennifer Scanlon; Shaaron Cosner (1 January 1996). American Women Historians, 1700s-1990s: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-0-313-29664-2.
  3. ^ "Eminent Historian and Scholar Darlene Clark Hine to Speak at FAMU". WCTV.tv. March 23, 2011. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "NU prof to be honored at White House", Evanston Now, July 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Northwestern symposium to honor Darlene Clark Hine". news.northwestern.edu. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  6. ^ Hine, Darlene Clark (Summer 1989). "Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 14 (4): 912. doi:10.1086/494552. S2CID 143992395.
  7. ^ Mitchell, Michele (November 1999). "Silences Broken, Silences Kept: Gender and Sexuality in African-American History". Gender & History. 11 (3): 436. doi:10.1111/1468-0424.00154. hdl:2027.42/73044. S2CID 143568305.
  8. ^ Griffin, Farah Jasmine (1995). "Who Set You Flowin'?": The African-American Migration Narrative. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 45.
  9. ^ Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks (Winter 1992). "African-American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 17 (2): 266. doi:10.1086/494730. S2CID 144201941.
  10. ^ Hine, Darlene Clark (Summer 1989). "Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 14 (4): 917. doi:10.1086/494552. S2CID 143992395.
  11. ^ "A SHINING THREAD OF HOPE by Darlene Clark Hine, Kathleen Thompson", Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1998.
  12. ^ Foster, Holly (October 8, 2002), "Author, Historian Darlene Clark Hine to Lecture at Hamilton", Hamilton College.
  13. ^ Bliven, Naomi. "Sisterhood Is Historical". The New York Times, March 22, 1998.
  14. ^ "The Black Chicago Renaissance". University of Illinois Press. 2012.
  15. ^ "Guide to the Darlene Clark Hine Papers, circa 1879-1996 and undated, bulk 1950-1996", Collection Guides, Rubenstein Library.
  16. ^ Patricia D'Antonio (15 June 2004). Nursing History Review: Official Journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing. Springer Publishing Company. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-0-8261-1473-0.
  17. ^ "Past Officers of OAH". Organization of American Historians. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  18. ^ "Darlene Clark Hine Award". Organization of American Historians. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Local Historian Receives National Humanities Medal", Chicago Tonight, WTTW, July 30, 2014.
  20. ^ "Obama to award National Humanities Medals to 3 historians", History News Network, July 22, 2014.
  21. ^ "Chapel Hill historian receives National Humanities Award", CharlotteObserver.com.

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