Phone: (310) 825-9420


Office: 6274 Bunche Hall

Professor and Nickoll Family Endowed Chair in History

I currently am writing two books, one on the history of the slave family from the colonial thru the antebellum eras and the other a history of slave women.

Vice Chair, Undergraduate Studies, Department of History, 1996-1998
Chair, Department of History, 1998-2002
Chair, Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies, 2004-2010


Ph.D. 1990, Yale University


Editor and Annotator, The Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimke, Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers Series, Henry Louis Gates, General Editor (N.Y., Oxford U.P. 1988).
“Distress and Discord in Virginia Slave Families, 1830-1860,” in Carol Bleser, ed., In Joy and In Sorrow: Women, Family and Marriage in the Victorian South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
“Charlotte Forten (1873-1914)” in G.J. Barker-Benfield and Catherine Clinton, eds. Portraits of American Women from Settlement to the Civil War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991).
“Slavery” in Darlene Clark Hine, ed., Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (New York: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1993, Expanded and revised,2005.
“Abolition” in Darlene Clark Hine, ed. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (New York: Calrson Publishing, Inc., 1993), Expanded and revised, 2005.
“Slave Family and Housing: in Ted Ownby, ed. Black and White: Cultural Interaction in the Antebellum South (Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 1993).
“Black Family Structure in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia: Amending the Revisionists”, in Belinda Tucker and Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, eds., The Decline in Marriage Among African-Americans: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Implications (New York: Russell Sage, 1995).
“Gender Convention, Ideals and Identity Among Antebellum Virginia Slave Women,” in Dalrene Clark Hine and David Barry Gaspar, eds., More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996).
Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996)Winner, 1997 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Prize.
“From Bondage to Freedom: Slavery in America” in Lara Gara, Brenda Stevenson and C. Peter Ripley, Underground Railroad: An Epic in United States History (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, 1998).
Female Violence and Justice on the Urban Frontier,” The Journal of African American History (Spring 2004): 152-176.
Co-editor and contributor with Darlene Clark Hine, et. al., Black Women in America3 vol. set. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
“’Marsa Never Sot Aunt Rebecca Down’”: Enslaved Women, Religion, and Social Power in the Antebellum South,” The Journal of African American History, 90 #4(Fall 2005): 345-367.
Introduction as Guest Editor, The Journal of African American History, 92#1(Winter 2007).
“The Question of the Female Slave Community and Culture in the American South: Methodological and Ideological Approaches,” The Journal of African American History, 92 #1(Winter 2007): 74-95.
“History Lessons,” Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower ed. Deborah Gray White (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2008): 158-171.
“Review Essay of Annette Gordon Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” The Journal of African American History,96 #3 (Summer 2011): 1-15.
“Contextualizing the Runaway Experience: A Brief History of Slavery,” in Wiese and Carbado, eds., The Long Walk to Freedom (Boston: Beacon Press, 2012).
“What’s Love Got to Do With It? Concubinage and Enslaved Black Women and Girls in the Antebellum South,” Journal of African American History, vol. 98 #1 (Winter 2013): 99-125.
The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots (Oxford University Press, 2013), James Rawely Prize Winner, 2014. “Families, Slavery and Flight,” William Still Digital History Project, Historical Society of Pennsylvania,….
“Family and Community in Slave Narratives,” in John Ernest, ed., The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 277-297.
“12 Years a Slave: Narrative, History and Film,” The Journal of African American History vol. 99, #1-2 (Winter-Spring 2014): 106-118.
“The Price of Slavery: Family, Community and Loss in Antebellum Texas,” Empire and Liberty: Civil War in the American West, Virginia Scharff, ed., (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.
What is Slavery? (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, May 2015 ).