Public Historian, African American History Initiative

Missouri History Museum
St Louis, Texas
Jun 30, 2021
Aug 06, 2021
Full Time
Organization Type

The Missouri Historical Society commits to a process of listening attentively to one another and leveraging best practices and resources across our organization to promote a culture of inclusion where individuals from all racial and ethnic identities; ages; nationalities; social and economic statuses; sexual orientations; gender identities/expressions; religious, political, and ideological perspectives; and abilities are able to be engaged, feel valued, and thrive. click here for the full Commitment to Racial Equity

Position Summary:

The Missouri Historical Society seeks a Public Historian for the African American History Initiative. The endowed African American History Initiative (AAHI) strives to share and promote stories that explore African American experiences throughout this region with the following areas of focus:
  • To strengthen and expand the collecting and interpreting of the region's African American history
  • To serve as a safe space that encourages community dialogue by incorporating the history of underrepresented people in all its initiatives including exhibitions and programs
  • To utilize MHS's collections in innovative ways to engage teachers, students, community stakeholders, and the community at large
  • To encourage lifelong educational exploration by providing opportunities to study the historical experiences of all people who comprise our region

The Public Historian, AAHI is responsible for shaping and implementing projects and priorities of the Initiative with support and input from the internal team, institutional Leadership team, and an external community advisory group.

Essential Functions:
  • Shares the region's African American history through radio and tv pieces, blog posts and written articles, exhibits, media interviews, online initiatives, public presentations, and more
  • Convenes the AAHI team (Curator, Oral Historian, Outreach Coordinator, and DEIA representative) and internal workgroup to establish and implement the AAHI vision, priorities, and projects in conjunction with the Leadership team
  • Serves as the point person for the external community advisory committee whose purpose is to inform the overall vision for the African American History Initiative
  • Consolidates all projects established within AAHI to evaluate and monitor the initiative as a whole and serves as a key communicator regarding the Initiative both internally and externally
  • Presents the African American history of St. Louis history in ways that are accessible to diverse audiences
  • Works closely with other public historians internally and externally to ensure diverse points of view and historical experiences are included in oral histories, exhibitions, programs and publications
  • Collaborates with AAHI team members and colleagues throughout the institution to promote the African American collecting initiative, identify acquisition opportunities including oral histories, shape program opportunities, and ensure that the African American collections of MHS are accessible to the public
  • Manages the assignments of an intern annually to help with projects and to establish and serve a diverse museum pipeline
  • Represents the Missouri Historical Society at community meetings, where appropriate; expands and deepens collaborations with regional community-based organizations for the purpose of strategic partnerships and collaboration on AAHI programs and events

  • This position requires working some weeknights and weekends
  • All other duties as assigned

  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred, in history, African American history, American culture studies, African American studies, urban studies, anthropology, museum studies, communications, or a related field
  • 3+ years of experience in a public history setting desired
  • The Public Historian is charged with a diverse set of duties and responsibilities - roles are related to writer, oral historian, exhibit developer, program developer, community consultant, and institutional spokesperson
  • Experience collaborating with community groups

  • Depth and broad knowledge of African American and/or urban history with background in the St. Louis region, or the ability to quickly attain this knowledge, a strong plus
  • Ability to share history in an accessible way through public presentations, written articles, radio and media, social media outlets, community programs, exhibitions, etc.
  • Proficiency using Office suite, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including the use of Zoom, iTeams and other on-line presentation tools
  • Ability to work within a team structure to achieve institution-wide strategic goals and timely completion of institutional priorities

Deadline to Apply: Position open until filled.

Please upload cover letter and resume when applying.

*External job boards: Please click this link, Public Historian, African American History Initiative to apply.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Services Provided On A Non-Discriminatory Basis