Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Independent Scholar
Website URL
The American South, Legal History, Women’s History, African-American History, Twentieth Century Political History, Civil Rights
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Virginia Summey received her Ph.D. in History at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in December 2017. At UNCG she also received a post-baccalaureate certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies, and is a Faculty Fellow in the Lloyd International Honors College. She received her MA in History and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Montana, and her BA in Political Science from Catawba College. Her book on pioneering judge Elreta Melton Alexander will be published by the University of Georgia Press in 2021. 

Recent Publications


Biography of Judge Elreta Melton Alexander, UNDER CONTRACT with University of Georgia Press, To be published in 2021.


“Elreta Melton Alexander: A Theoretical Approach,” in A Seat at the Table: Black Women Public Intellectuals in U.S. History and Culture, edited by Hettie V. Williams and Melissa Ziobro (Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2020), IN PRESS

“Redefining Activism: Judge Elreta Alexander and Civil Rights Advocacy in the New South,” North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 3 (July 2013), 237 – 258. 


“Even if Georgia Turns Blue, North Carolina May Not Follow,” with Michael Bitzer, The Washington Post, Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

“Why ‘Fame’ Needs to Go,” The Salisbury Post, Sunday, June 14, 2020.

“Papers Reveal Social Origins of ‘Fame’,” with Gary Freeze and Daniel Harvey, The Salisbury Post, Sunday, June 16, 2019.

“Elreta Alexander-Ralston Paved the Way For Black Women on the Bench,” Greensboro News and Record, April 7, 2019, D1.

Book Reviews

Review of Postel, Charles. Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866-1896. HCivWar, H-Net Reviews, May, 2020,

Review of Icenhauer-Ramirez, Robert. Treason on Trial: The United States v. Jefferson Davis. Journal of Southern History, Volume 86, No. 4, November 2020, pp. 924 – 925.


“Elreta Melton Alexander Ralston,”, April 24, 2015,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Law, Politics, Race, Women