Adjunct Professor of History
My field is American social history, with specialties in African-American, labor, and southern history.
My scholarly work has progressed through various stages; but my focus on African-American history, and the history of the laboring classes, has remained constant. My first book (1980) examined the teachers of the Georgia freedpeople in the period immediately after the Civil War (1865-1873). My next study (1985) was an examination of black working women from slavery to the present. I have also looked at patterns of poverty in the South and North, from the antebellum period to the present, with an emphasis on labor turnover and internal migration (1992). A book published in 1998 considered the social division of labor in America, from the colonial period to the present. My short history of the laboring classes was published in 1999. More recent projects have included a major American history textbook (2002), a memoir of my childhood in Delaware in the 1950s (2001), and a history of Savannah, Georgia, during the Civil War era.. This last work will be published in the fall of 2008.
University of Wisconsin, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, M.A.
University of Delaware, B.A.
Awards and Honors
Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians (ongoing) (2002)
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002)
MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1999 - 2004)
History Book Club Selection (American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor) (1997 - 1998)
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (1994 - 1995)
Choice Outstanding Academic Book (The Dispossessed) (1992)
E. Merton Coulter Award, Georgia Historical Society ("Encounters, Likely and Unlikely, Between Black and Poor White Women") (1992)
Finalist, Lillian Smith Award for non-fiction (The Dispossessed) (1992 - 1993)
Clare Boothe Luce Visiting Professor, Brown University (1988 - 1990)
Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy (Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow (1986)
Fellow, Society of American Historians (1986)
Brown Memorial Publication prize for the best work in black women's history, Association of Black Women Historians (1985 - 1988)
Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for History (1985 - 1988)
Gustavus Myers Center Prize for Best Book on Racial Intolerance (1985)
Julia Spruill Prize, Southern Association for Women Historians (1985 - 1988)
Philip Taft Award in Labor History (1985 - 1988)
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (1979 - 1980)
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1979 - 1980)
American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid (1977)
Alice Smith Fellowship, State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1975 - 1976)
American Association of University Women Fellowship (1974)
Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1974 - 1975)
Ford Foundation Fellowship (1970 - 1972)