Recent Publications


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

UNC Press book description

2011 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize, Association of Black Women Historians.

2011 Honorable Mention, John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association.

2011 Honorable Mention, Darlene Clark Hine Award, Organization of American Historians.

2007 Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize, New York State Historical Association.


Refereed Articles

“Hannah Elias Talks Freely”: Interracial Sex and Black Female Subjectivity in Turn-of-the-Century New York City.” in Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital editors Black Sexual Economies Collective (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, expected 2017) under review by press.

Guest Co-editor (with Kali N. Gross), Special Issue “Gendering the Carceral State: African American Women, History, and Criminal Justice” in The Journal of African American History (expected 2016).

“Mabel Hampton in Harlem: Regulating Black Women’s Sexuality in the 1920s,” in Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, editors Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron De Hart, Cornelia H. Dayton and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Eighth edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) condensed and revised version of chapter 7 from Talk With You Like A Woman for a Women’s History textbook.

“`Bright and Good Looking Colored Girl’: Black Women’s Sexuality and “Harmful Intimacy” in Early Twentieth-Century New York,” in The Punitive Turn: Race, Prisons, Justice and Inequality, eds. Deborah E. McDowell, Claudrena N. Harold, and Juan Battle (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013): 73-107.

“`Bright and Good Looking Colored Girl’: Black Women’s Sexuality and “Harmful Intimacy” in Early Twentieth-Century New York,” in special issue of the Journal of the History of Sexuality,” Vol. 18, No. 3 (September 2009): 418-456.

2010 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Article Prize, Association of Black Women Historians

“`In Danger of Becoming Morally Depraved’: Single Black Women, Working-Class Black Families, and New York State’s Wayward Minor Law, 1915-1935,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 151, No. 6 (June 2003): 2077-2121.

Research Interests

Late nineteenth and twentieth-century African American and American history. Urban, gender, and civil rights history

Courses Taught

  • HIST 1161 – US History II
  • HIST 2000 – African American Music: History and Culture
  • HIST 2100 – Quest for Racial Justice in Twentieth-Century America
  •  HIST 2161 – African American History from 1865-Present
  • HIST 3000 – African American Women’s History from 1865-Present
  • HIST 3000 – Rethinking the Modern Civil Rights Movement
  • HIST 4600 (undergraduate)/5000 (graduate) – Race and Gender in Urban America
  • HIST 6000 – U.S. Colloquium II
  • HIST 6894 – Readings in History (U.S. Women’s History – Exploring Gender, Race, Class and Activism)
  • LBST 2101 – Western History and Culture



B.A., University of Virginia

M.A., Princeton University

Ph.D., Princeton University

Current Project

My next project will focus on interracial intimacy and civil rights in turn-of-the-century New York.

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