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Lydia Black

Photo of Lydia Black
Categories: 2009 Alumnae, History, Science, Writing


Lydia Black was an anthropologist whose research restored to Alaskan peoples important features of their history and culture. Black was known for emphasizing artistic and cultural accomplishments rather than the social skills of Alaska Native cultures. “They know they have problems. My job is to remind them of their glory,” she said.
Born in the Ukraine, educated in Russia, Germany and the United States, Black became a professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1984. Black retired in 1998 and continued her work in Kodiak where she helped translate and catalogue Russian archives.