About the Editors

Oxford African American Studies Center
Editorial Advisory Board

Editor in Chief

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities
Chair of African and African American Studies
Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research
Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the author of several works of literary criticism, including Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the "Racial" Self (Oxford University Press, 1987); The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (Oxford, 1988), the winner in 1989 of the American Book Award; and Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (Oxford, 1992). He has also authored Colored People: A Memoir (Knopf, 1994), which traces his childhood experiences in a small West Virginia town in the 1950s and 1960s; The Future of the Race (Knopf, 1996), co-authored with Cornel West; and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (Random House, 1997). Professor Gates has edited several anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (W.W. Norton, 1996); and The Oxford-Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers (Oxford, 1991). Professor Gates is co-editor with K. Anthony Appiah of the encyclopedia Encarta Africana, published on CD-ROM by Microsoft (1999), and in book form in its second edition by Oxford under the title Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (2005). He is the author of Wonders of the African World (1999), the book companion to the six-hour BBC/PBS television series of the same name. In addition, he is a co-editor of Transition magazine. He is also the editor with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham of African American Lives (Oxford, 2004) and the forthcoming African American National Biography. He was host in early 2006 of "African American Lives," a four-hour PBS documentary series tracing black history through genealogy and DNA science. An influential cultural critic, Professor Gates's publications include a 1994 cover story for Time magazine on the new black Renaissance in art, as well as numerous articles for the New Yorker.

Professor Gates earned his MA and PhD in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. He received a BA summa cum laude from Yale University in 1973 in English Language and Literature. Before joining the faculty of Harvard in 1991, he taught at Yale, Cornell, and Duke Universities. His honors and grants include a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" (1981), the George Polk Award for Social Commentary (1993), the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award (1994), the Golden Plate Achievement Award (1995), Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans" list (1997), a National Humanities Medal (1998), and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1999). His interests include black critical thought, cultural criticism, social theory, modern and postmodern philosophy and literature, and the future of American youth.

Executive Editor

Steven Niven

Steven J. Niven is executive editor of the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, the Dictionary of African Biography, and the African American National Biography at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is also the author of Barack Obama: A Pocket Biography of Our 44th President, and is an acting partner for Enslaved, a collaborative digital project on the history of the slave trade.

Founding Editors

Ira Berlin
Distinguished University Professor
Department of History
University of Maryland

Ira Berlin has written broadly on the history of slavery and emancipation in the United States and the larger Atlantic world. His first book, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (1975) won the Best First Book Prize awarded by the National Historical Society. Berlin is the founder of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which he directed until 1991. The project's multi-volume Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation (1982, 1985, 1990, 1993) has twice been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government, as well as the J. Franklin Jameson Prize of the American Historical Association for outstanding editorial achievement, and the Abraham Lincoln Prize for excellence in Civil War studies from the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute of Gettysburg College. His study of African American life between 1619 and 1819 entitled Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in Mainland North America was published by Harvard University Press in 1999. It was awarded numerous prices including the Bancroft Prize for the best book in American history by Columbia University; the Frederick Douglass Prize by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute; the Owsley Prize by the Southern Historical Association, and the Rudwick Prize by the Organization of American Historians. That same year, the Humanities Council of Washington named Ira Berlin Outstanding Public Humanities Scholar of the Year. He is currently president of the Organization of American Historians.


Paul Finkelman
Chapman Distinguished
Professor of Law University of Tulsa College of Law

Prior to joining the College of Law faculty in 1999, Paul Finkelman was the John F. Seiberling Professor of Law at the University of Akron Law School. In addition, he previously taught at Cleveland Marshall, Hamline University School of Law, the University of Miami, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Brooklyn Law, and the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist in American legal history, race and the law, and first amendment issues, Finkelman is the author or editor of numerous articles and books, including A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States; Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson; Baseball and the American Legal Mind; and American Legal History: Cases and Materials. He is the editor in chief of numerous encyclopedias, including the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 (Oxford, 2006) and the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present (Oxford, forthcoming), as well as being a member of the editorial board of the African American National Biography (Oxford, 2008) He was a Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Harvard Law School and received his PhD and MA from the University of Chicago. Finkelman teaches constitutional law and American legal history.


Darlene Clark Hine
Board of Trustees Professor Department of African American Studies
Northwestern University

Professor Hine (PhD Kent State University, 1975) is a leading historian of the African American experience who helped found the field of black women's history and has been one of its most prolific scholars. A past-president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association and the winner of numerous honors and awards, she is the Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. She is the editor of Black Women in America (Oxford, 2005), which won the Dartmouth Medal in its first edition in 1999. Her numerous publications include The African-American Odyssey; Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas; Black Women in White: Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890-1950; The Harvard Guide to American History; Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History; More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas; A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U.S. Black Men's History and Masculinity; A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America; Speak Truth to Power: Black Professional Class in United States History; and "We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible": A Reader in Black Women's History. She has been awarded fellowships and grants by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Rockefeller Foundation.


Trudier Harris
J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Trudier Harris taught at the College of William and Mary for six years before joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has lectured and published widely in her specialty areas of African American literature and folklore. The Ohio State University (Columbus) presented her with its first annual Award of Distinction for the College of Humanities in 1994. Her authored books include From Mammies to Militants: Domestics in Black American Literature (1982); Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals (1984); Black Women in the Fiction of James Baldwin (1985, for which she won the 1987 College Language Association Creative Scholarship Award); Fiction and Folklore: The Novels of Toni Morrison(1991); The Power of the Porch: The Storyteller's Craft in Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, and Randall Kenan (1996); Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature (2001); and South of Tradition: Essays on African American Literature (2002). She co-edited three volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series on African American writers and edited three additional volumes. She edited New Essays on Baldwin's "Go Tell It on the Mountain" (1996) for Cambridge University Press and co-edited the Oxford Companion to African American Literature (1997); Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition (1998); and Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1998). During 1996-1997, she was a resident fellow at the National Humanities Center. In 2000 she was presented with the William C. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her memoir Summer Snow: Reflections from a Black Daughter of the South was published by Beacon Press in 2003. In 2005 she won the UNC System Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching. Also in 2005 she received the John Hurt Fisher Award of the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English (SAADE) for the outstanding contributions she has made to the field of English scholarship throughout her career.


Graham Hodges
George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History
Colgate University

Graham Russell Gao Hodges is the author of many books and articles on African American history, early American labor, and New York City history. He received a BA in 1972 and an MA in 1974 both from the City College of New York and a PhD from New York University in 1982. His doctoral dissertation won the Bayrd Still Award for best dissertation in the history department at NYU that year and was published as his first book, entitled New York City Cartmen, 1667-1850 (1986). During the early 1980s he served as Associate Editor of the William Livingston Papers where he began a large project on the history of African Americans in and around early New York City. The first fruits of that research were his editions of Black Itinerants of the Gospel: The Narratives of John Jea and George White (1993); "Pretends to be Free": Runaway Slave Advertisements from Colonial and Revolutionary New York and New Jersey (1994); Black Loyalist Directory: African Americans in Exile After the American Revolution (1996); and Robert Roberts' House Servant's Directory (1997). Other books include Slavery and Freedom in the Rural North: African Americans in Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1665-1865 (1997); a collection of essays, Slavery, Freedom and Culture among Early American Workers (1998); and the landmark work, Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863 (1999). He recently published the biography Anna May Wong: From Laundryman's Daughter to Hollywood Legend (2004), the rights of which have been optioned to make a film. Hodges is the editor of the Routledge Publishers' African American Research Series, which has published 106 volumes to date. He was an Associate Editor of the Dictionary of American History Supplement (1997) and the Dictionary of American History, 3rd Ed (2002). He is an editor of the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 (Oxford, 2006), and of the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present (Oxford, forthcoming). In 1998 he was a Fulbright Scholar in China and will serve again in that capacity in 2006-2007.


Gwendolyn DuBois
Shaw Associate Professor of History of Art
University of Pennsylvania

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is Associate Professor of American Art. She received her PhD in art history from Stanford University in 2000. She was an assistant professor at Harvard University for five years before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. During that time she was also a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation. Her book, Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, was published by Duke University Press in the winter of 2004. Her second book, Portraits of a People: Picturing African Americans in the Nineteenth Century, accompanied an exhibition of the same name which opened at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts in January 2006 before traveling to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington and the Long Beach Art Museum in California. Professor Shaw is interested in studying issues of race, gender, and class in American art and architecture.


Valerie Smith
Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature, Department of English Director of the Program in African American Studies
Princeton University

Professor Smith returned to Princeton from UCLA in 2001. Her research and teaching interests include African American literature and culture, black feminist theory, autobiography, black film, and twentieth century U.S. literature. She has held fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the NEH, the ACLS, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the University of California President's Office. She is the author of Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative and Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Reading, and the editor of African American Writers; Representing Blackness: Issues in Film and Video; and New Essays on Song of Solomon. She co-edited a special issue of Black American Literature Forum (now African American Review) on black film with Camille Billops and Ada Gay Griffin, and a special issue of Signs with Marianne Hirsch on gender and cultural memory. At present, she is writing a book on the Civil Rights Movement in cultural memory.

Guest Editors

Vincent Carretta: The Black Atlantic
Tomiko Brown-Nagin: Atlanta
Michael Jeffries: Atlanta
Prudence Cumberbatch: Baltimore
Marcia Chatelain: Activist Movements
John McCloskey: Chicago
Eric R. Jackson: Ohio
Bernadette Pruitt: Houston
Dagmawi Woubshet: LGBTQ African Americans
Adam Bradley: Literature
Mora Beauchamp-Byrd: New Orleans
Carla Peterson: New York
Jackie Booker: North Carolina
Keenan Norris: California
Rich Newman: Philadelphia
Eddie Glaude: Religion
Sharon Harley: Washington, D.C.
Eddie Glaude: Religion