Participant Info

First Name
Kristen Hillaire
Last Name
Website URL
U.S. History, African-American History, Transatlantic History, Black Garrisonian abolitionists, 19th century African American female intellectuals. early 20th century African American female intellectuals, Art History
Additional Contact Information
I am available for media contact.

Personal Info

About Me

I am currently a Visiting Lecturer in History at the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA. Last year I taught at Scripps and this year I am at Pitzer. I have my Ph.D. from the Department of History at UCLA. My area of expertise is on free women of color during the antebellum period in Philadelphia, Boston, and Salem (Mass.). My dissertation, “Charlotte Forten: Coming of Age as a Radical Teenage Abolitionist, 1854-1856,” sheds light on Forten’s teenage years in Salem, Massachusetts as both a student/scholar and as a radical abolitionist. She had come from an elite socio-economic family, who had been internationally known for their abolitionism and community outreach. She joined the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, and her duties included aiding fugitives escaping the South, sewing clothing to raise funds for anti-slavery endeavors, and writing anti-slavery poetry for William Lloyd Garrison’s “The Liberator.” She was fifteen years old when she began to keep a diary, and the pages are filled with anti-slavery events, activities, and famous abolitionists she interacted with, including Frederick Douglass.

Recent Publications

I have had three book reviews published in the African Studies Journal, including “Jews of Tamantit” by John Hunwick, “Black Jews of Africa” by Edith Bruder. The reviews can be seen at

In 2018, I published an article for the Activist History Review titled, “From Hollywood to Academia” about the #MeToo movement. Here is the link:

Currently, I have pitched a podcast idea to C19 about my dissertation, focusing specifically on Charlotte Forten’s activities in the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society. I had excellent feedback and am working on the revisions needed to include my podcast into the next season.

My work was also recently selected to appear in an edited volume titled, “Black Americans in the Age of Emancipation.” My chapter is titled, “I Crave Anti-Slavery Food”: Charlotte Forten and the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, 1854-1856.” (Publisher pending)

In addition, I am currently putting together a book proposal for publication of my dissertation.


Media Coverage
So far, I have not had media coverage as a historian. However, prior to going into academia, I grew up in the entertainment industry, and was a singer, songwriter, and actress.
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Emancipation, Gender, Literary History, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, Slavery, Women