Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Virginia Commonwealth University
Website URL
Race, Slavery, Sexuality, Gender, Atlantic World, British Empire, Caribbean, Sexual Violence, Women, Colonialism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Brooke Newman is an Associate Professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. She specializes in the social, cultural, and legal history of early modern Britain and the British Atlantic during the age of slavery. She’s the author of A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (Yale University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. A Dark Inheritance also received the Gold Medal for World History in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named an Outstanding Academic Title and a Choice Magazine editors’ pick.  She is also the co-editor of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

Her research has been supported by distinguished institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, and the Omohundro Institute and Georgian Papers Programme for research in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Dr. Newman’s current book project, tentatively titled “Subjects of the Crown: Slavery, Emancipation, and the British Monarchy, 1660-1860,” chronicles the evolving policies and attitudes of the British Crown and prominent members of the royal family toward imperial rule, the transatlantic slave trade, and colonial slavery from the Stuart Restoration to the reign of Queen Victoria.

Recent Publications

“The Queen’s Silence: Racism, White Supremacy and the British Monarchy,” Der Spiegel, March 12, 2021.

“Sexual Intermixture, Blood Lineage, and Legal Disabilities in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica and the British Atlantic,” in The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism, ed. Dagmar Herzog and Chelsea Schields (May 2021).

“‘The Case of Polly Indian’: Enslavement, Native Ancestry, and the Law in the British Caribbean,” in The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Global History, ed. Ann McGrath and Lynette Russell (in press; forthcoming 2021/22).

“The British monarchy needs to make amends for centuries of profiting from slavery,Slate, July 28, 2020.

“Blood Fictions, Maternal Inheritance, and the Legacies of Colonial Slavery,” Women Studies Quarterly 48, no. 1 & 2 (spring/summer 2020): 27-44.

“The White Nostalgia Fueling the ‘Little Mermaid’ Backlash,” The Washington Post. July 8, 2019.

“Uncovering Royal Perspectives on Slavery, Empire, and the Rights of Colonial Subjects,” Georgian Papers Programme, January 21, 2019.

“The Long history Behind the Racist Attacks on Serena Williams,” The Washington Post, September 11, 2018.

A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.

“Interracial Marriage in the Atlantic World,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Historical Perspective: Slavery Over the Centuries,” in Human Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. Mary C. Burke. New York: Routledge, 2018. 2ndedition. pp. 25-48.

“Who Gets to Legislate Heritage in Virginia?” Scalawag Magazine. March 2, 2017.

“Legislators Rewrite Virginia’s History, Overstating its ‘Christian Heritage.’” The Washington Post. February 12, 2017.

Co-editor with Gregory D. Smithers, Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014.

“Identity Articulated: British Settlers, Black Caribs, and the Politics of Indigenous Identity on St. Vincent, 1763-1797,” in Native Diasporas: Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Identities in the Americas, ed. Gregory D. Smithers and Brooke N. Newman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. pp. 109-49.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Britain, British Atlantic, British Caribbean, Jamaica
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, British Isles, Caribbean, England, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Emancipation, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Labor, Law, Politics, Race, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Slavery, Women