#TheHistorySoundtable: 40 Recent Black Female Authored History Books

Jul 15, 2016 · 7 min read

This morning I started thinking on my Black Women’s History Freshmen course that I am teaching this fall, and have for the past eight years at my university. Over the past couple days I spoke with two friends from graduate school, who are also faculty at other schools, working and writing to advance the thread of black women’s history in the classroom and through active scholarship. In both conversations new books written by some of the next generation of black women historians and new books holding intellectual space for conversation on many many many critically important topics related to the evolution of black history from the slave ship to the blood stained streets of London came up.

I made a short list below — really for my own self — to stay in the know for upcoming classes and what is newest in educating future minds. Also since race is also mattering all over again, I figured some would care to get glimpses into black history through the stories of survival, strife, terror, freedom, expression and much more through the works of (at least) 40 black women historians listed below that are expanding meaningful and necessary historical conversations.

I have not read all the books offered. I wish my life had that time, but many are on my own to read list for the near future. And they should be on the desks of the curious minds of thousands of others. Some are recently published, while others are new/hot off the press, as well as forthcoming but all hyperlinked into the list to empower the learning.

So for those interested in more than social media headlines but instead reading and digging into the the historical tangibles offered in Black (Women’s) History, then read on. #TheHistorySoundtable #SayHerName

  1. Sasha Turner Bryson, Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica, 1780–1834.

2. Mia Bay, Farah J. Griffin, Martha Jones, and Barbara D. Savage, eds. Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women

3. Monique Bedasse, Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania and Black Internationalism in the Age of Decolonization

4. Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved from Womb to Grave in the Building of a Nation

5. Daina Ramey Berry & Leslie M. Harris — Slavery and Freedom in Savannah

6. Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston

7. Marcia Chatelin: South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration

8. Christy Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island

9. Brittany Cooper: Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present.

10. Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Superbodies: Slavery, Immigration, and the Birth of American Gynecology

11. Ashley Farmer, What You’ve Got is a Revolution: Black Women’s Movements for Black Power

12. Crystal Feimster, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

13. Aisha K. Finch, Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841–1844

14. Tanisha C. Ford, Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (Gender and American Culture)

15. Marisa J. Fuentes Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (Early American Studies)

16. Tiffany M. Gill, Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry

17. Kali Nicole Gross, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America

18. Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

19. Lashawn Harris, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy

20. Shirletta J. Kinchen, Black Power in the Bluff City: African American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis, 1965–1975

21. Barbara Krauthamer: Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

22. Talitha Leflouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

23. Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation

24. Treva Lindsey, Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital

25. Bettina L. Love, Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South

26. Jessica Millward, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland

27. Sowande’ M. Mustakeem, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage

28. Shana L. Redmond, Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora

29. Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race

30. Michele Reid-Vazquez, The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

31. Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War

32. Sherie M. Randolph, Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical

33. Crystal R. Sanders, A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle

34. Lakisha Michelle Simmons, Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans

35. Devyn Spence Benson, Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution

36. Brenda Stevenson, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots

37. Katrina Dyonne Thompson, Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery

38. Clarissa J. Threat, Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps

39. Erica Lorraine Williams, Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements

40. Kidada E. Williams, They Left Great Marks on Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I


Written by

Writer, Historian, PsychicMedium, Drummer, Author of BOOKS: #Slavery at Sea, #Numerology 101, Symbology101