ALLEN B. BALLARD | professor, author and musician

Now Available on | Breaching Jericho's Walls

An award-winning African American historian and novelist takes the reader on an exciting journey from a segregated Philadelphia childhood in the 1930s to midcentury Paris, Moscow, Cambridge, and Manhattan.
Price: $18.96
Hardcover - 350 pages
Release Date: March 2011


Allen B. Ballard
Allen B. Ballard, Professor of History and Africana Studies at SUNY-Albany, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio and holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. He taught government at City College of New York for 25 years, served as Dean of Faculty of the City University of New York for five years, and is now CCNY Professor Emeritus of Political Science.

Dr. Ballard has published two non-fiction books, The Education of Black Folk (Harper and Row, 1973) and One More Day's Journey: The Story of a Family and a People (McGraw-Hill, 1984). His articles have appeared in scholarly and popular journals, including New York Times Magazine. His first novel Where I'm Bound was published by Simon and Schuster in 2000, and is now available in paperback.

His first novel, Where I'm Bound, is a Washington Post "Notable Book."
His second novel, Carried By Six is the 2010 winner of an "Honor Book Prize" in Afro-American Literature from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Divorced, Dr. Ballard has one son and lives in Clifton Park, New York. His hobbies include sailing, photography, and folk singing with his guitar. For more on his life, see this interview, or this article. For samples of his photographic work, see Allen's photography galleries.

Now Available... Early This Morning

Thinking that too much of contemporary church music is pop-influenced and sensing the need for an album that folks who love the traditional hymns and spirituals of the African-American church would want to listen to, the singer, Allen Ballard, decided to make this album. Many years ago, Prof. Ballard used to sing folk songs, accompanying himself on the guitar. Then,over time, he moved away from the guitar as other matters intruded on his life. Then, two years ago, he decided to take up the guitar again and began to take lessons. Encouraged by the reaction of members of his church, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Albany, New York, to his performing at services with the guitar, he decided to do a studio-based CD of the music so loved by African-Americans and made popular by such greats as Mahalia Jackson and Reverend James Cleveland. This is the music that came out of the American South and the African-American experience there from slavery to liberation under the leadership of Marlin Luther King. There are no drums here, no piano, just a singer and his guitar, performing as he would at home on a quiet Sunday evening. The album is made for those who yearn for the old songs, those that brought African-Americans "over a mighty long way." It's Professor Ballard's hope that the album will bring peace and comfort to those who need to hear a little bit of the old music.

Listen to or buy "Early This Morning" on iTunes. Allen Ballard - Early This Morning

Selected Works

“Breaching Jericho’s Walls is a journey-through-life book that takes the reader to interesting and very different (surprisingly so) sites of memory where compelling experiences take place. I couldn’t stop reading.” — Gloria Wade-Gayles, editor of My Soul Is a Witness: African-American Women’s Spirituality
The leader of an anti-violence group stumbles upon a crime scene, and unknowingly kills the brother of a powerful but imprisoned drug dealer.
"The important story of black soldiers in the Union army has finally found a writer of historical fiction equal to the occasion."
--James M. McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University
Chronicles the movement of Blacks from South Carolina to Philadelphia during the Great Migration, 1917-1940.
A short history of the education of African-Americans in the United States.