Blanchard, Michigan native Merze Tate remains among our state’s most distinguished citizens. By any measure, she was a trail blazer not only in Michigan but across the U.S. and internationally. Tate was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College and the first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford.
Tate was also the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard University (then Radcliffe College), as well as one of the first two female members to join the Department of History at Howard University.
Fellow Western Michigan University alumna Sonya Bernard Hollins is one of today’s leading experts on the life of Merze Tate. Hollins’ article "Merze Tate: Citizen of the World" was recently featured in Michigan History Magazine.
Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with Hollins about Tate's life.