Picturing Black History

Photographs and stories that changed the world

A collaboration of     and    

Michele Valerie Ronnick

Michele Valerie Ronnick is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wayne State University in Detroit. She has published over 130 articles, notes, book reviews, and book chapters concerning studies in classical philology and essays on the classical reception of figures such as John Milton, Tom Stoppard, James Joyce and Gianni Versace.

In the mid-1990s her pioneering work on the interest and the study of Greek and Latin by people of African descent opened up a new and now vibrant area of scholarly inquiry.

Her books include:

  • Cicero’s Paradoxa Stoicorum, foreword by Michael von Albrecht (Peter Lang, 1991)

  • The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: An American Journey from Slavery to Scholarship, foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  (Wayne State University Press, 2005)

  • The Works of William Sanders Scarborough: Black Classicist and Race Leader, foreword  by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Oxford University Press, 2006)

  • William Sanders Scarborough’s First Lessons in Greek: A Facsimile Edition, foreword by Ward W. Briggs, Jr. (Bolchazy Carducci, 2019)

She has been recognized for her work by many organizations in the United States including the American Philological Association which gave her its Outreach Award in 2007, by the city of Macon, Georgia (William Scarborough’s birthplace) which gave her the key to the city in 2006, by Bibb County in Georgia which issued a proclamation in her honor in 2006, by her hometown of Sarasota, Florida which named March 12, 2005 “Michele Valerie Ronnick Day,” and in 2019 by the Southern Conference on African American Studies which gave her its  Ambassador Award.

Her photo installation on Black classicists whose creation was funded by the James Loeb Classical Library Foundation at Harvard University has (since its debut at the Detroit Public Library in September 2003) been exhibited at 62 venues. It is currently on tour in the United Kingdom.

Content by Michele Valerie Ronnick