When Quintard Taylor Jr., ’71 M.A., ’77 Ph.D., was growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee, money was scarce, but belief in education was plentiful. His father, who had a second-grade education, and his mother, who completed one year of college, saw education as the surest way out of poverty and sacrificed throughout their lives to send their two children to college.
“My mother didn’t allow me to play basketball after school until my homework was done,” says Taylor, a preeminent scholar of African American history in the American West. “I resented that until I returned home after earning my undergraduate degree and saw former classmates still playing basketball; they never attended college.”
Taylor currently holds the oldest endowed chair at the University of Washington and is also the director of BlackPast.org, a 13,000-page resource on African American and global African history.
Taylor and his sister, Diane Brown, recently pledged $50,000 to establish the Quintard Taylor Sr. and Grace Taylor Scholarship in honor of their parents, and raised additional funds for the scholarship through URaiseMN, the U’s crowdfunding platform.