Andre D. Vann

Coordinator of University Archives and Instructor of Public History

Dr. James E. Shepard Memorial Library


Andre D. Vann, archivist, author, griot, and educator has served as the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Coordinator of the University Archives and Instructor of Public History since 2007. He was born by midwife, in his family’s home in Henderson, North Carolina, and raised in the Mobile community, a community founded by Rebecca Hawkins his great- great grandmother. Vann graduated from Vance Senior High in 1988. Vann started his love and appreciation for African American history at the age of 10, while sitting on front porches and listening to elders in his community.  He also gained love and appreciation for this history by working in his parents’ grocery store, Vann’s Grocery and Fish Market, a center of commercial life in south Henderson.

After high school, he ventured to Durham, North Carolina to attend NCCU, where he was active in student government affairs and joined the Gamma Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is a double “Eagle” receiving both his Bachelor of Arts (1993) and Master of Arts (1995) degrees in American History from NCCU.  While there he was inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta Honorary Historians Society. In 1997, he received advanced training in Public History and archival management at North Carolina State University. Upon graduation, he taught African American history and North Carolina history in the History Department of both NCCU and Shaw University (Raleigh, NC).  Andre completed the University Managers Development Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002.

Prior to establishing the University Archives at NCCU, Andre served as Assistant Dean of Students in the Division of Students Affairs. Currently, he serves as Coordinator of University Archives and Instructor of Public History in the Dr. James E. Shepard Memorial Library. He has dedicated over 25 years to the cause of higher education, historical preservation, archival preservation, volunteerism and service to humanity.  At present, Andre’ serves on the Durham Cultural Advisory Board and the Hayti Healing Circle by appointment of the Mayor of Durham and the City Council.  In addition, Andre’ serves as Co – PI of the Getty Digital Grant (NCCU).  His most memorable experiences were at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

His research interests are African American History, 20th Century United States History, Southern history, African Americans in Public History and Public Memory and civil rights. He is especially interested in understanding the complex connections between African American history, memory, funerary, race, “Black Wall Street”, and social change in Durham, North Carolina through the twentieth and twenty-first century A leading researcher on the African American experience he has been profiled by the Durham Herald-Sun, News and Observer, Henderson Daily Dispatch, NCCU Campus Echo, North Carolina Historical Review, Regional Focus/Federal Reserve Board, Indy Week, Triangle Tribune, WUNC 91.5 FM, WNCU.90.7, WARR 1520 AM Radio Stations and many other publications. As a result, Andre’ was featured on the WUNC – “State of Things” for his work in researching and preserving African American history and his family’s history.

He has authored “Standing on the Promises: The Growth and Development of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Henderson, North Carolina, 1866-1996” (1996) and published works in the African American National Biography (2008), Encyclopedia of African American Associations and the Encyclopedia of African American Education. He authored African Americans of Durham County (2017), he co-authored Soaring on the Legacy: A Concise History of North Carolina Central University (2010), he co-authored a book entitled Sedalia and the Palmer Memorial Institute (2004); authored one book entitled Vance County, North Carolina (2000) and co-authored another entitled Images of America-Durham’s Hayti (1999) all are still in print.

He holds membership in the Historical Society of North Carolina, Charlotte Hawkins Brown Historical Foundation, Inc., Friends of Geer Cemetery, Friends of the Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, Friends of the Durham County Public Library, Phi Alpha Theta Honorary Historians Society, NCCU AA, NCCU AA – Durham Chapter, Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People (Former Executive Director, Vice Chair – PAC, Chair – PAC (2012), Durham Branch of the NAACP (Unit 5387-B), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Former District Historian for the Association of North Carolina Alphamen) and Immediate past 2nd Vice of the First Congressional District, Democratic Party of North Carolina.

He has been a consultant to the Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity Black Wall Street of the South: From Reconstruction to the Pandemic (2021), United Durham Inc. – CDC History and Documentary Project (2020), North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development Historic Parrish Street Project (2006), North Carolina Central University Shepard House Project (2004), Lincoln Hospital Project for Durham County Hospital Corporation (1997) and the North Carolina African American High School Project (1992).

Because of his outstanding contributions to the community, Vann has received numerous awards and recognitions. A few select awards include North Carolina Central University Alumni Association – Durham Chapter Distinguished Service Award (2022),Vance County Branch NAACP (2020), Honorary Member of Durham College Alumni Association (2019), Resolution in Appreciation as a Member of the Durham Planning Commission (2015-2018), Raleigh –News and Observer – Tar Heel of the Week (2017), “Beacon of Light Award” from the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc. and Youth Affiliate (2016), First recipient of the Howard J. Clement, III Public Service Award – presented by the Beta Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Durham, North Carolina (2013), Certificate of Appreciation by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Centennial Committee (2006) and “Award of Gratitude” from the Friends of the Stanford L. Warren Branch Library (2002).