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About T. DeWayne Moore

Hi, my name is T. DeWayne Moore. 
I am a Lecturer of US and Public History in the Division of Social Sciences at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in Texas. I currently serve as the director of the Grants Subcommittee for the Epa Committee on the Legacy of Slavery and the Impact of Segregation. I also work in close collaboration with PVAMU University Archivist Phyllis Earles and the Special Collections & Archives Department (SCAD) on the fifth floor of the John B. Coleman Library.

I previously worked as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of History at Bowling Green State University, where I served on the Graduate and Public History Committees as well as served as Digital Media Editor. I earned my Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Department of History at the University of Mississippi, and I hold an M.A. from the Public History Program in the History Department at Middle Tennessee State University. I have lectured and led seminars about Early and Modern American History, The Civil War & Reconstruction, Special Topics in African American History, Critical Thinking, and Historical Society Administration.

I am also the Executive Director of the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund, a historical consulting firm promoting reparative justice and responsible practices regarding the memorialization of African Americans and the maintenance of abandoned cemeteries. After I conducted research that ended a legal dispute over cemetery access—between landowners and the African Americans descendants of the interments in a cemetery located on private land, I collaborated with other descendants of blues artists to research, design, and install memorials that transformed several endangered cemeteries into international tourist destinations. Our work builds on the growing interest in inclusive memorialization processes by emphasizing the role memorials play in the process of racial reconciliation. From the framework that regards memorials as instruments of reparations that keep the past visible, we encourage people to see monuments as symbolic reparative tools that facilitate historic preservation.

In November 2019, I signed a book contract with the University Press of Mississippi, which plans to publish six of my essays (33,000 words) in Old Time Mississippi Fiddle Tunes & the Segregation of Sound—working title for second volume of Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2015). In addition to mining digital archives and compiling primary source documents from county courthouses across the state to compose fresh and richly contextualized biographies about African American fiddlers and their families from slavery to the early recording era, I provided unseen documents and photographs for the essays of one of my co-authors, country music discographer Tony Russell, and I collaborated during the extensive field research process of the editor, Harry Bolick.

I am also passionate about the amazing possibilities for scholars who engage with digital archives and oral history. My forthcoming article in The Journal of Mississippi History focuses on African American politicians during Reconstruction. By mining digital newspaper archives and embracing the methods of historical archaeology, it offers compelling evidence that disproves the disinterment of Mississippi’s only African American Secretary of State James D. Lynch. In addition, my research detailing how the writers of the Mississippi Blues Trail silence the African American lived experience will be published in the Public Historian, the flagship journal of the field, in March 2020.

I also began exposing the myth of southern redemption through a love of Black music in “Revisiting Ralph Lembo: Complicating Charley Patton, the 1920s Race Record Industry, and the Italian American Experience in the Mississippi Delta,” an article published in the December 2018 volume of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal. By demonstrating the powerful research potential of digital archives and re-examining oral histories from the 1960s, I not only restored the good name of an Italian immigrant and talent scout for southern musicians in 1920s Mississippi, but I also began a very rewarding collaboration with a group of ethnomusicologists, professional archivists, and the descendants of southern musicians. In the past year, we have discovered an amazing set of new documents (marriage licenses, death certificates, and United State Colored Troops pension records) that allowed us to reinterpret and challenge previously published scholarship about many artists. Later in 2020, the new music journal established by Third Man Records, out of Detroit, plans to publish a series of collaborative articles that detail our discoveries. Moreover, the sixth and final volume of the Frog Blues & Jazz Annual, published out of London, will feature more of our collaborative research that traces the influence of the accordion on the emergence of the Delta blues.

My current book project, tentatively titled “Forgotten in the Place it was Born and Raised”: A History of Mississippi Action for Community Education and the Origins of Blues Tourism in the Politics, Performances,  and Bicentennial Protests in the Queen City, examines the distortions of African American history and culture in the tourism narratives of the 1970s Mississippi Delta, how those narratives have affected policy decisions on the state level, and the ways that African Americans and others have attempted to resist and revise the popular narrative about the blues to educate and heighten the consciousness of African Americans.  My research also complicates the narrative framing of the movement and examines the practice of public history as a means to continue the black freedom struggle in the 1970s. By examining the ways that community activists in Mississippi Action for Community Education helped people on the lowest rungs of the social, political, and economic ladder, my research demonstrates how they picked up the mantle of the Mississippi movement and wrestled away from large corporations, private foundations, and federal agencies the tools required to combat poverty, empower communities, build wealth, and secure a share of the “American Dream.”  Though I am currently revising the manuscript for publication, the Southern Cultures journal, published by UNC Press for the Center for the Study of the American South, published one chapter, “Worth Westinghouse Long Jr.: Creating Dangerously in The Land Where the Blues Began,” in its special “Documentary Moment” edition in the Spring 2020.


August 2020 - Present Lecturer I, Prairie View A&M University Division of Social Sciences
January 2014 - Present Executive Director, Mt. Zion Memorial Fund
August 2019 - June 2020 Assistant Teaching Professor, Bowling Green State University ‐ Department of History
January 2014 - May 2018 Graduate Teaching Professor, University of Mississippi ‐ Department of History

Curriculum Vitae


2021 - Present Archaeological Study of Wyatt Chapel Community Cemetery
The Summerlee Foundation - PENDING REVIEW
Texas History Grants
Role: Principal Investigator
Colleague(s): Dr. Nesta Anderson, Dr. Chet Walker, Azzurra Cox, and Robin Cordero
2021 - Present Enabling Access to Former PVAMU Professors and Administrators
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
TexTreasures Original 2022
Role: Consultant & Writer
Colleague(s): Phyllis Earles
2021 - Present He Sold Hisself to the Devil: A History of Tommy Johnson, Blues, and the Black Freedom Struggle in the Brown-Loess Belt, 1815 to 2020
PVAMU Mellon Center for Faculty Excellence
Faculty Enhancement Program
Role: Principal Investigator & Writer
Colleague(s): Dr. Marvin Haire
2021 - Present Preserving Our History through Assessment
National Endowment for the Humanities - PENDING REVIEW
Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Role: Writer
Colleague(s): Phyllis Earles, Lisa Stafford
2021 - Present Redressing Racial Segregation in the PVAMU Archives
Institute of Museum & Library Services - PENDING REVIEW
IMLS American Rescue Plan
Role: Principal Investigator & Writer
Colleague(s): Phyllis Earles
2021 - Present Slavery & Its Legacy in Waller County, Texas
The Social Science Research Council - PENDING REVIEW
American Slavery’s Legacy across Space and Time: Small Grants Program
Role: Co-Principal Investigator & Writer
Colleague(s): Dr. Marco Robinson, Phyllis Earles, and Lisa Stafford
2021 - Present The Digital PV Panther Project
National Endowment for the Humanities - PENDING REVIEW
American Rescue Plan
Role: Principal Investigator & Writer
Colleague(s): Phyllis Earles, Dr. Noel Estwick
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2021 - Present Member, Society of Southwest Archivists
2021 - Present Member, The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
2021 - Present Member, Waller County Texas Historical Commission
2020 - Present Member, American Historical Association
2020 - Present Director, Grants Subcommittee, The Epa Committee on the Legacy of Slavery and the Impact of Segregation
2020 - Present Member, PVAMU History Program Fundraising Committee
2014 - Present Member, The Blues Foundation
2010 - Present Member, National Council on Public History
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Honors and Awards

  • 2017 - Oakley Award - Nomination Writer - The Association for Gravestone Studies
  • 2011 - Outstanding Senator Award - Univ. of Mississippi Graduate Council
  • 2010 - The Bart McCash Award for Outstanding Work in History - Middle Tennessee State University History Department


2010 - 2018 Ph.D. in US History, Slavery, and the African Diaspora, University of Mississippi
2008 - 2010 M.A. in Public History, Archival Administration & Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University
1996 - 2001 B.S. in Mass Communications, Middle Tennessee State University

Contact Information

207 G.R Woolfolk, Prairie View, TX 77446


Films (1)

Currently in Production

Books (5)

Journal Publication (3)

Issues and Opinions (3)

Presentations (2)