#TheHistorySoundtable II: 70 Recent History Books by Black Women

Co-authored by Sowande’ Mustakeem and Keisha N. Blain

FotorCreatedIn recognition of the dynamic work being done by black women scholars, here is a list of 70 new and forthcoming books on a range of topics from the era of slavery to the post-Civil Rights era. This list is an expansion of Sowande’ Mustakeem’s original #TheHistorySoundtable list of 40 key works by black women scholars. In the days following its release, we saw a need to further expand the list, broadening the selections to include additional new and forthcoming books that capture the range and depth of black women historian’s scholarly contributions. The books listed below shed light on how black women scholars are shaping and defining the fields of United States history, African history, and African Diaspora History. We encourage educators to incorporate these works into their syllabi for fall courses, and invite these scholars to their campuses to share their exciting research with colleagues and students. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and represents the first of a new recurring series on AAIHS, which will highlight new and forthcoming works by black women historians.

*Are you a black woman historian who has written a new book or has a book scheduled for publication within the next 2 years? Please send us the details via this submission form and/or tweet suggestions to Sowande’ (@somustakeem) and Keisha (@KeishaBlain) using the hashtag “#TheHistorySoundtable.”

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Carol Anderson, Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941–1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Angela Ards, Words of Witness: Black Women’s Autobiography in the Post Brown Era (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016)

Devyn Spence Benson, Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Keisha N. Blain, Contesting the Global Color Line: Black Women, Nationalist Politics and Internationalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming)

Sasha Turner Bryson, Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica, 1780–1834 (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming)

Mia Bay, Farah J. Griffin, Martha Jones, and Barbara Savage, eds., Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Monique Bedasse, Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania and Black Internationalism in the Age of Decolonization (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming)

978-080704762-0Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved from Womb to Grave in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, forthcoming)

Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris , Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (University of Georgia Press, 2014)

Regina N. Bradley, Chronicling Stankonia: Recognizing America’s Hip Hop South (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming)

Cherise Jones Branch, Crossing the Line: Women’s Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II (University Press of Florida, 2014)

Tammy L. Brown, City of Islands: Caribbean Intellectuals in New York (University Press of Mississippi, 2015)

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston (University of North Carolina Press, 2014)

51pSV3tmT+LMarcia Chatelain, South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015)

Arica Coleman, That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia (Indiana University Press, 2013)

Brittney Cooper, Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming)

Keona Ervin, The Labor of Dignity: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis, 1933-1969 (University of Kentucky Press, forthcoming)

Ashley Farmer, What You’ve Got is a Revolution: Black Women’s Movements for Black Power (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming)

Crystal Feimster, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching (Harvard University Press, 2009)

Aisha Finch, Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841–1844 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Tanisha Ford, Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Nishani Frazier, Harambee City: CORE in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism (University of Arkansas Press, 2017)

Marisa Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)

gillTiffany M. Gill, Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry (University of Illinois Press, 2010)

Dayo Gore, Radicalism at the Crossroads. African American Women Activists in the Cold War (New York University Press, 2011)

Hilary Green, Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham University Press, 2016)

Kali Nicole Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Françoise Hamlin, Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II (University of North Carolina Press, 2012)

lashawnLashawn Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy (University of Illinois Press, 2016)

Cheryl Hicks, Talk With You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

Allyson Hobbs, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life (Harvard University Press, 2014)

Tameka Bradley Hobbs, Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida (University Press of Florida, 2015)

Tera W. Hunter, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Harvard University Press, forthcoming)

Bayyinah Jeffries, A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Women: African American Muslim Women in the Movement for Black Self Determination, 1950–1975 (Lexington Books, 2014)

bluffShirletta Kinchen, Black Power in the Bluff City: African American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis, 1965–1975 (University of Tennessee Press, 2015)

Barbara Krauthamer, Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Talitha Leflouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Duke University Press, 2015)

Treva Lindsey, Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington, D.C. (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming)

Bettina Love, Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South (Peter Lang Publishing, 2012)

Jessica Millward, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland (University of Georgia Press, 2015)

Donna Murch, Revolution in Our Lifetime (Verso, forthcoming)

slaverySowande’ M. Mustakeem, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (University of Illinois Press, 2016)

Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Superbodies: Slavery, Immigration, and the Birth of American Gynecology (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming)

Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Brenda Gayle Plummer, In Search of Power: African Americans in the Era of Decolonization, 1956–1974 (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Christy Clark Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (New York University Press, 2016)

Sheri Randolph, Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Barbara Ransby, Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Robeson (Yale University Press, 2014)

rayCarina Ray, Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana (Ohio University Press, 2015)

Shana L. Redmond, Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (New York University Press, 2013)

Michele Reid-Vasquez, The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World (University of Georgia Press, 2011)

Leah Wright Rigueur, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (Princeton University Press, 2015)

Zandria Robinson, This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South (University of North Carolina Press, 2014)

Crystal Sanders, A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women in Paris Between the Two World Wars (SUNY Press, 2015)

Lakisha Simmons, Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Robyn Spencer, The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender and the Black Panther Party in Oakland (Duke University Press, 2016)

brendaBrenda Stevenson, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Elizabeth Stordeour Pryor, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Katrina Thompson, Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery (University of Illinois Press, 2014)

Clarissa Threat, Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps (University of Illinois Press, 2015)

Judith Weisenfeld, A New Day A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration (New York University Press, forthcoming)

whitehead_coverKarsonya Wise Whitehead, Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (University of South Carolina Press, 2014)

Ethelene Whitmire, Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian (University of Illinois Press, 2015)

Erica Lorraine Williams, Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements (University of Illinois Press, 2013)

Kidada Williams, They Left Great Marks on Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I (New York University Press, 2012)

Rhonda Williams, Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (Routledge, 2014)

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (University of California Press, 2015).


Sowande’ M. Mustakeem is assistant professor in the Department of History and the African and African American Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (University of Illinois Press, 2016). Keisha N. Blain is assistant professor of history at the University of Iowa and co-editor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence. Her work has been published in the Journal of Social History; Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; and Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International.