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African American, Civil War & Reconstruction, slavery, emancipation, racist violence, lynching, Jim Crow
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About Me

I am a Detroit based writer and historian who studies African American survivors of racist violence. I also host the Seizing Freedom podcast docudrama taking listeners into the heart of African Americans fight for freedom beginning in the Civil War.

You might have seen me on Skip Gates’s PBS: Reconstruction: America after the Civil War, Hulu/ABC’s The 1619 Project, or heard me on Scene On Radio’s The Land that has Never Been Yet; The Reckoning; Slate Academy: Reconstruction.

I have published articles, books, and essays on African Americans’ accounts of lynching and night riding’s impact on their inner lives and on anti-black violence in American history and popular memory. My latest book, I Saw Death Coming, chronicles the stories of Black families targeted in the war white southerners waged on Reconstruction. My first book, They Left Great Marks on Me, explores Black people’s personal testimonies of violence and their role in mobilizing civil rights advocates to fight lynching. I am a co-editor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence, a collection of readings that provide historical context for understanding the 2015 massacre of nine African Americans at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church.

Recent Publications

The Psychic Toll of Night RidesSlate, 2018.

“Never Get Over It: What Night-riding Meant to African American Families,” in Reconstruction and the Arc of Racial (in)Justice (2018), 59-83.

With Danielle L. McGuire, Raped and left on the road, she said #MeToo. Jurors said, ‘No, not You.’ and Say Her Name. Shawana Hall. She is a Hero. Bridge Magazine MI, 2017.

“Maintaining a Radical Vision of African Americans in the Age of Freedom” in The Future of Reconstruction Studies forum The Journal of the Civil War Era 7, no. 1 (March 2017).

Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016) co-edited with Chad Williams and Keisha N. Blain.

“The Wounds that Cried Out: Reckoning with African Americans’ Trauma and Suffering from Night Riding,” in The World the Civil War Made  (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 159-182.

“Centuries of Violence.” Slate, 2015.

“Account for the Pillaging of African-American Freedom.” The New York Times, Room For Debate, 2015.

“What the Black Lynching Numbers Don’t Reveal.” DAME Magazine, 2015.

“Regarding the Aftermaths of Lynching,” The Journal of American History 101, no. 3 (2014): 856-858.

They Left Great Marks on Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I (New York: New York University Press, 2012).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Emancipation, Family, Gender, Race, Sexual Violence, Slavery