Cassandra Newby-Alexander has appeared in a number of nationally-released documentaries, including the most recent by Henry Louis Gates, Many Rivers to Cross, C-SPAN’s “Race, Slavery, and the Civil War” panel,” the History Channel’s Jamestown, America’s 400th Anniversary: The African American Imprint on America, the WHRO documentary, Code Switching, C-SPAN’s “Massive Resistance” panel, and the Community Idea Stations in partnership with the University of Virginia center for Politics, Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance.
Newby-Alexander has published on a variety of topics that have expanded the intellectual discourse on the history of African Americans in Virginia including her soon-to-be released co-authored book on the history of blacks in Norfolk (I Too, Am Norfolk) to her numerous publications on Hampton Roads and the Underground Railroad, Vivian Carter Mason, Portsmouth’s black history, and the history of public schools in Hampton Roads. Her books include Black America Series: Portsmouth, Hampton Roads: Remembering Our Schools, Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy, and An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads.
Newby-Alexander is also an active grant writer, having received grants amounting to nearly $600,000 from a host of agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the State Council for Higher Education. One of her most successful initiatives was the Pre-Graduate Summer Program for undergraduate students at Norfolk State University (NSU) in conjunction with the College of William and Mary that encouraged students interested in pursuing a graduate degree.
As Director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for the African Diaspora at NSU, Newby-Alexander has shown a dedication to making history accessible to the general public, working with the Norfolk Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to produce a detailed map and interactive website on the Underground Railroad entitled, “Waterways to Freedom,” a comprehensive map identifying Civil War sites in Hampton Roads, and a conference series on 1619.
Newby-Alexander has directed major public conferences that bring history to the general public. In 2007, NSU hosted the conference, “Voices from Within the Veil: African Americans and Democracy in America,” as part of the Federal Commission’s 400th Anniversary conference series. She was a panelist during the 2007 Tavis Smiley Presents State of the Black Union: Jamestown, America’s 400th Anniversary: The African American Imprint on America (Hampton, VA).
In 2010 as part of the Sesquicentennial Conference Series in Virginia, she directed the conference, “Race, Slavery, and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory,” which was filmed by C-SPAN and was the focus of a History Channel Documentary. In 2012, Newby-Alexander directed the first of a series of conferences that will continue through 2019. The conference series, “1619: The Making of America” includes internationally-renowned scholars and university and community partners that engage students, educators, and the general public in a public dialogue about the importance of understanding this watershed period in American history.
Cassandra Newby-Alexander has served on a number of boards and commissions throughout Virginia including the Historical Commission for the Supreme Court of Virginia, consultant for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Women’s Monument Commission, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Norfolk Education Foundation, and the Norfolk Sister City Association. She has also been a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Department of Education.