WHO WE ARE
Dr. Joseph T. Taylor Branch (JTB)
Conceived in 2017 by Dr. Monroe Little, the Dr. Joseph T. Taylor Branch of ASALH was chartered in the Fall of 2018.
In April of 2017, a group of seventeen residents of Indianapolis metropolitan area met at and Indianapolis Marriott Downtown to begin the planning for Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) 103rd annual conference that would be held in Indianapolis, in 2018. The idea of forming a local branch to better serve the planning needs and continue the national mission was spearheaded by the Joseph T. Taylor’s Branch founding member – Dr. Monroe Little. Dr. Little who was already an active Life Member of ASALH and served as a previous member of it’s Executive Council, as well as a member of the Membership and Awards Committees. Dr. Little shared his endeavors with seven other prospective charter members, including Dr. Cathi Cornelius. Dr. Cornelius was instrumental in securing meeting space for the conference planning initiatives as well as ongoing branch meetings at Marian University. The first formal meeting to begin organizational process took place April 27, 2017 at Marian Hall on Marian University campus.
ASALH Dr. Joseph T. Taylor was chartered in October of 2018 and is organized according to the structural mandates of the National office of ASALH. Under the leadership of Dr. Monroe Little, who served as president throughout the branch’s first year, was supported by branch officers: Dr. Leslie Etienne, VP, Lorna Dawe, Secretary, Dave Rozzell, Treasurer, and Dr. Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Historian. The Dr. Joseph T. Taylor branch was chartered with 65 Founding Members and 3 Institutional Memberships.
Dr. Joseph Taylor Branch Founding
Center for Black Literature & Culture Madame Walker Legacy Center Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Zeta Phi Chapter
Deborah Asante Valerie Davidson Pearla Gholston Deloice Holliday Kendra Lowery Rosalynn Shropshire-West
Leon Bates Robert Davis Mildred Guyse Antwain Hunter Robbie Lowery Annie L. Smith
Ernest Berry Lorna Dawe Kelley (Omar) Hackett Tambra Jackson Robert McElroy Donna Stokes-Lucas
Lola Berry Keesha Dixon Mollette Hall Tiffany Johnson John Gilbert Moore Sr. Douglas Tate
Wayne Black Linda Durril Anita Harden Lasana Kazembe Joyce Leslie Moore M.L. Thomas
Shelia Boyd Pompia Durril Winterbourne Harrison-Jones Mary Kelley Patricia Ann Payne Joseph Tucker-Edmonds
Virgil I. Boyd Reginald DuValle Nichelle Hayes Kraig Kinchen Evelyn Pierce-Hicks Carol Weeden
Judith Casey Leslie Etienne Robert Henderson Modupe Labode Daniel Pierson Ophelia Umar Wellington
Anthony Conley Paulette Fair Robert D. Hill Ellen L. Lane Sherrell C. Robinson Karyn Williams
Cathi Cornelius Michele T. Fenton Carl W. Hines Monroe Little Jeri Rozzell Aletha Wrenn
Carole S. Craig Tyrone Freeman Gary Holland Sheila Little Mervin (Dave) Rozzell
Dr. Monroe Little, a native of Saint Louis, Missouri is a university educator whose teaching career extends as far back as the late 1960s when he was an undergraduate instructor in the History Department at Denison University. He received a BA degree (Cum Laude) in History from Denison University and a MA and PhD from Princeton University. He taught briefly at Drew University and for four years in the Humanities department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before settling in Indianapolis, Indiana where he founded the Africana Studies Program and taught African American history as well as Black Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis for over thirty years. Dr. Little served as our first branch president.
Dr. Joseph T. Taylor
From 1946-50, Taylor worked as assistant to the president at Florida A & M College, a teacher, and an administrator. His career flourished and he received a professorship of Sociology and becoming the Director of the Arts and Sciences at Albany State University in Georgia from 1950-51. After leaving this position he became the chairman for the division of Social Sciences Department as a professor of Sociology at Dillard University until 1957. Throughout his career and appointments to various committees, Taylor was studying to receive his PhD from Indiana University and did so in 1952. After earning his PhD, he became the acting dean and professor of Sociology at Dillard.
The building housing IUPUI’s University College has been named for Joseph T. Taylor in honor of the man who served as dean of the Indianapolis Regional Campus from 1967 to 1970 (pre-IUPUI) and as the first dean of the newly established IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI (1970-1978).
As an African American, Dr. Taylor was a pioneer at every stage of his academic career. He infused that can-do spirit and ability to break new ground into the very core of what has made IUPUI successful today. Taylor served as a Professor of Sociology from 1965–1983 and as the first Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI from 1967–1978. The entire community was saddened by his death in September 2000. He is remembered for his commitment to dialogue and diversity. He infused that perseverance and ability to break new ground into the very core of what has made IUPUI successful today. One of the great events in Dr. Taylor’s academic life as a young scholar of sociology was his participation in the landmark Carnegie-Myrdal study that resulted in the 1944 publication of The American Dilemma: The Negro Problems and Modern Democracy. The Carnegie-Myrdal study employed the leading black and white social science scholars of the day, including the poet, teacher, and scholar Sterling Brown; Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ralph Bunch; and Butler Jones, later of Cleveland State's sociology department, but whose students included Martin Luther King, Jr., when he taught at Atlanta University.
In the last Taylor Symposium he attended, the year of his death in 2000, he spoke again of the importance of education when he said:
"We are not accustomed to setting aside time for public discussion of some critical issues unless something comes to a crisis, which rarely results in a true resolution. You can think in a crisis, but you don’t bring enough information to a social issue in a one-night meeting."