Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Christopher Newport University
Website URL
African American, Women, South, Nineteenth Century
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a full time lecturer at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia and a 2018 William and Mary PhD.  My dissertation, “The Family Politic: Free African American Gender and Belonging in Virginia, 1793-1865,” examines intimate and family relationships among free people of color in Petersburg. I argue that bodily autonomy and family integrity were the very cornerstones of freedom for many African Americans, and these were central goals and tangible rewards of free status in a racist, patriarchal society. Not all households and families looked alike among Virginia’s free people of color, but studying how free blacks built and protected them, including negotiating race, gender, and sexual identities, helps us understand why, even when it was imperfect or incomplete, freedom mattered.

In addition to teaching courses in CNU’s history department, I teach and supervise a cohort of Secondary Social Studies MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) students. I started this journey over 20 years ago as a high school social studies teacher, and I see my role as forging stronger connections between academic scholarship and public education curriculum and pedagogy.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
Emancipation, Family, Gender, Local & Regional, Race, Sexual Violence, Slavery, Women