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Dawne Raines Burke

June  2015
HCJ 978-1-940425-77-1


In the first book-length study of Storer College, Dawne Raines Burke tells the story of the historically black institution from its Reconstruction origins to its demise in 1955. Established by Northern Baptists in the abolitionist flashpoint of Harpers Ferry, Storer was the first college open to African Americans in West Virginia, and it played a central role in regional and national history. In addition to educating generations of students of all races, genders, and creeds, Storer served as the second meeting place (and the first on US soil) for the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the National Association for the Adavancement of Colored People.

An American Phoenix provides a comprehensive and extensively illustrated history of this historically black college, bringing to life not just the institution but many of the individuals who taught or were educated there. It fills a significant gap in our knowledge of African American history and the struggle for rights in West Virginia and the wider world.


Coming Soon.


Dawne Raines Burke is an assistant professor of education at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Burke began her investigation into the history of Storer College as part of her doctoral research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


“Uncovers the significant role which the students of Storer College, its faculty, the Board of Trustees, and its alumni played in early education and the American civil rights movement. We all owe a great debt to Dawne Raines Burke for exploring and seeking out the story of this great institution and its impact on this country.”
James A. Tolbert Sr., President, NAACP, West Virginia