Article remembering Marcellus Blount features IRWGS' Oral History Project


Marcellus Blount Loved to Dance,” by Alice McCrum for The Eye, is a beautiful feature on the late English professor’s 33 years at Columbia University. Among Blount’s many achievements, he was instrumental in the founding of two ground-breaking institutes at Columbia, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) and the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWGS). Drawing on Blount’s interview for the IRWGS’ Oral History Project, McCrum highlights how Blount, a queer, black man, became an integral ally to women’s representation at Columbia. Through his understanding of the similarities between African Americans’ and women’s struggles for representation at traditionally white male elite institutions, Blount’s activism and conception of community at Columbia broadened: “I was not bereft of community, it just looked different.” McCrum portrays Blount as ever humble, an amazing feature for a man whose activism and scholarship had a lasting impact at Columbia and beyond.

For more information on the IRWGS’ Oral History Project, click here.