Janice L. Sumler-Edmond’s Book Released
Thursday Oct, 02 2008
HT’s History Professor’s book tells memorable story of a free woman of color
(AUSTIN, Texas) 10.2.08 — Huston-Tillotson University’s Professor of History Dr. Janice Sumler-Edmond has released a fascinating, intriguing biography entitled, “The Secret Trust of Aspasia Cruvellier Mirault: The Life and Trials of a Free Woman of Color in Antebellum Georgia.” The narrative resurrects the life and times of Aspasia Cruvellier Mirault, a free woman of color, whose story until now was lost to historical memory.
Sumler-Edmond joined the HT faculty in 2002 and teaches such courses as “African American History.” She was instrumental in securing a minor in African and African American Studies when she served as chair of the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts. She is also director of the University’s W.E.B. Dubois Honors Program for high achieving students.
A historian and a lawyer, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, her doctorate in jurisprudence from the UCLA School of Law, and a doctorate degree in history from Georgetown University. Recently, Sumler-Edmond attended a summer seminar with the nation’s history academicians entitled, “Slavery: Scholarship and Public History” sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Council of Independent Colleges. She was awarded one of the five 2003-2004 Cross Hemispheric Partnership grants from the United Negro College Fund Special Programs, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The award included a $50,000 grant and a field trip to Latin American countries to form a collaborative partnership among Huston-Tillotson University and two universities in Latin America: the Technological Institute of Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico, and the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica. Sumler-Edmond coordinated the research of faculty from all three schools in developing an African Latino Studies course that examines the history and culture of Afro-Mexicans and Afro-Costa Ricans.
Sumler-Edmond also teamed with her husband, Steven, who serves as HT’s Dean of the School of Business and Technology to complete “Historical Reflections: A Blueprint for the Future.” The document was researched and prepared for the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin District, in order to chronicle key historical aspects of the Martin Luther King, Jr. corridor. People, places, and things along the corridor were captured in print as a means of remembering and celebrating past accomplishments, contemplating the present, and preparing for the future.
She is coeditor of two previous books: “Freedom’s Odyssey: African American History Essays from Phylon” and “Black Women’s History at the Intersection of Knowledge and Power: ABWH’s Twentieth Anniversary Anthology.”
“The Secret Trust of Aspasia Cruvellier Mirault: The Life and Trials of a Free Woman of Color in Antebellum Georgia” was released by the University of Arkansas Press (hardback $29.95 ISBN 978-1-55728-880-6 | 1-55728-880-1).