Lab Initiates New Online Journal

The Backbone is published twice each academic year. The journal aims to honor the life, works and academic aspirations of Dr. W. Montague Cobb, founder of the Cobb Research Laboratory. The Backbone generally reflects Dr. Cobb’s research priorities by highlighting diverse aspects of the African American experience, including the biological, social, and health consequences of racism.
 The Backbone has a interdisciplinary focus and offers scholars a wide variety of opportunities to present their findings in the form of original articles, editorials, and other creative formats. All submissions are peer reviewed. Topics that provide research on the extensive collection of human skeletal remains in the Cobb Research Laboratory, including the Cobb Collection and the New York African Burial Ground, are especially solicited. For authors interested in publishing, please visit, All submissions should be made online to, following the instructions provided.
The inaugural issue of The Backbone is set for late October 2014 with the official launch of the journal. The first call for papers to be considered for inclusion in the October issue ends August 21, 2014.  The theme of this October’s journal is “ The Relevance of the Cobb Lab to the African Diaspora” and invites a variety of articles that articulate a range of topics including (a) analysis of the life and works of W. Montague Cobb, (b) the  current state of the African Diaspora and how utilizing biological evidence of racism strengthens any socio-political case for justice and reparations, (c) understandings of indigenous African concepts of burial rites influence practices in the Diaspora, etc. Accepted papers are not limited to these listed topics and we welcome innovative angles of analysis and research. There will be an official launch event to take place on Howard’s campus and we encourage all to join The Backbone mailing list to stay informed on this and other journal related activities by visiting   

Although The Backbone will be offered primarily as a web-based journal, given adequate funding, print copies will be made available. In order for this journal to be a success on either medium, we hope to gain many sponsors and supporters to purchase ads on either or both the website and the potential print edition.  The success of The Backbone is greatly dependent on your support but the impact of a dynamic journal is far reaching—as it offers opportunity for junior and senior scholars the opportunity to publish the research findings. Considering that there are not many interdisciplinary journals of this nature that speak directly to the interests of forwarding scientific study of the Black condition, we hope you see the vision of The Backbone and become a financial supporter of these efforts.  If interested supporting this effort, please visit for more details on how to take out an ad with us.