Nell Irvin Painter


Nell Irvin Painter

Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita
Princeton University
Department of History
Princeton, NJ 08544-1017
Tel (609) 258-1613 or 4159. Fax (609) 258-5326


  • University of California, Berkeley, 1960-1962; 1963-1964, BA (honors) in Anthropology, 1964
  • University of Bordeaux, France, 1962-1963, French medieval history
  • University of Ghana, Institute of African Studies, 1965-1966
  • University of California, Los Angeles, 1966-1967, MA, African History, 1967
  • Harvard University, 1969-1974, Ph.D., American history


  • Ghana Institute of Languages Lecturer in French, 1964-1965
  • Harvard University, Teaching Fellow, Afro-American Studies, 1969-1970; Teaching Fellow, History, 1972-1974
  • University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of History, 1974-1977, Associate Professor of History, 1977-1980
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Professor of History, 1980-1988
  • Hunter College of the City University of New York, Russell Sage Visiting Professor of History, 1985-1986
  • Princeton University, Professor of History, 1988-1991; Acting Director, Program in Afro-American Studies, 1990-1991; Edwards Professor of American History, 1991-2005, Director, Program in African American Studies, 1997-2000, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, 2005-present

Fellowships and Honors

  • Dean's List, University of California, Berkeley, 1960
  • Tower and Flame (upper division honor society), University of California, Berkeley, 1962-1964
  • Mortar Board, University of California, Berkeley, 1963-1964
  • Coretta Scott King Award, American Association of University Women, 1969-1970
  • Ford Foundation Fellow (for the writing of a dissertation in minority studies), 1971-1972
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, 1976-1977
  • Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Fellow, 1976-1977
  • Radcliffe/Bunting Institute Fellow, 1976-1977
  • W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard) Research Associate, 1977-1978
  • National Humanities Center Fellow, 1978-1979
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1982-1983
  • Graduate Society Medal, Radcliffe College Alumnae, 1984
  • Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1985-1986
  • Candace Award, National Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, 1986
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellow, 1988-1989
  • 1989 Alumnus/a of the Year, Black Alumni of the University of California, Berkeley
  • Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 1991
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1992-1993
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Wesleyan University, 26 May 1996
  • Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Dartmouth College, 8 June 1997
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, SUNY - New Paltz, 17 May 1998
  • Association of Black Princeton Alumni University Service Award, 1998
  • Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award (for graduate teaching), American Historical Association, January, 2000.
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Yale University, 26 May 2003
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, 2008
  • Honorary Doctorate, Metropolitan University, New York, 2010
  • Centennial Award, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2011
  • Fulbright Scholar, United Kingdom, October 2011
  • Honorary Doctor of letters, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016
  • Honorary Doctor of letters, Colgate University, 2017
  • American Historical Association 2018 Award for Scholarly Distinction

Professional Memberships and Services

Editorial Boards


Authored Books

  1. Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. Norton paperback, 1979, 2nd ed., University of Kansas Press paperback (with a new introduction by the author), 1986; Norton paperback, 1992. A Notable Book of the Year of the New York Times Book Review and a choice of the History Book Club.
  2. The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1979. Harvard paperback, 1980; Norton paperback, 1993. A Notable Book of the Year of the New York Times Book Review.
  3. Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919, New York, W. W. Norton, 1987, Norton paperback, 1989. Winner of the Letitia Brown Book Prize of the Association of Black Women Historians. A Notable Book of the Year of the New York Times Book Review.
  4. Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, New York. W. W. Norton, 1996; Norton paperback, 1997. Nonfiction winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. A choice of the Book of the Month Club and the History Book Club.
  5. Southern History Across the Color Line, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. 2nd ed., 2021.
  6. Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2005. Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award, 2006.
  7. Standing at Armageddon:, 2nd ed., W. W. Norton, 2008.
  8. Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, Korean ed., 2008.
  9. The History of White People, New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. Japanese edition, 2011, French edition, 2019.
  10. I Just Keep Talking—A Life in Essays, Doubleday, April 2024.

Edited Books

  1. Nell Irvin Painter, ed., Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Penguin Classic edition, 1998.
  2. Nell Irvin Painter, ed., Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Penguin Classic edition, 2000.


  1. The Negro Intellectual on Campus,”  The Daily Californian, 9 March 1961, p. 9.
  2. Black Journalism, the First Hundred Years,” Harvard Journal of Afro-American Affairs 2, no. 2, pp. 30-42. 1971.
  3. Jim Crow at Harvard, 1923,” The New England Quarterly 64, no. 4. December 1971.
  4. “Millenarian Aspects of the Exodus to Kansas,” Journal of Social History 9, no. 3. March 1976.
  5. “Hosea Hudson, A Negro Communist in the Deep South,” Radical America 11, no. 4. March 1976.
  6. “The Exodus to Kansas of 1879,” Encyclopedia of Southern History, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1979.
  7. “Hosea Hudson and the Progressive Party in Birmingham, 1948,” in Perspectives on the American South: An Annual Review of Society, Politics, and Culture, Volume 1, edited by John Reed and Merle Black, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, London, 1981.
  8. Hers” columns, the New York Times, 10, 17, 25 December 1981, 1 January 1982.
  9. Who Decides What is History?The Nation, 6 March 1982, pp. 276-278.
  10. A Post Energy Crisis History of the United States at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” Social Science News Letter 68, no. 1-2, pp. 11-14. January-April 1983.
  11. “Who Speaks for the South?” Southern Exposure 12, no. 6. November/December 1984.
  12. “Black Workers, Organized Labor, and Politics, from Reconstruction to the Great Depression,” in Workers Search For Power, edited by Paul Buhle and Alan Dawley, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1985.
  13. “Black Americans,” in Encyclopedia Americana (1985 edition).
  14. Foreword, Blacks in Appalachia, edited by William H. Turner and Edward J. Cabbell, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 1985.
  15. “‘Slaves’ With Volvos: Reflections on the Meaning of the Somerset Reunion,” in North Carolina Independent 26 September-9 October 1986.
  16. Bias and Synthesis in History,” (in roundtable discussion on historical synthesis), The Journal of American History 74, no. 1. June 1987.
  17. “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Historians,” OAH Newsletter 15, no. 3. August 1987.
  18. Foreword, Competition: A Feminist Taboo?, edited by Valerie Miner and Helen Longino, Old Westbury, 1987.
  19. Writing Working Class Biography,” in Artist and Influence, The Challenges of Writing Black Biography, edited by Leo Hamalian and James V. Hatch, Hatch-Billops Collection, New York, 1986.
  20. “Martin Delany and Elitist Black Nationalism,” in Black Leaders of the Nineteenth Century, edited by August Meier and Leon Litwack, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1988.
  21. “‘Social Equality,’ Miscegenation, and the Maintenance of Power,” in The Evolution of Southern Culture, edited by Numan B. Bartley, University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1988.
  22. “Race Relations, History and Public Policy: The Alabama Vote Fraud Cases of 1985,” pp. 125-137 of America in Theory, edited by Leslie Berlowitz, Denis Donoghue, and Louis Menand, Oxford University Press, New York, 1988.
  23. “Remembering Herbert Gutman and Afro-American History,” Labor History 29, no. 3. Summer 1988.
  24. French Theories in American Settings: Some Thoughts on Transferability,” Journal of Women’s History 1, no. 1, pp. 92-95. Spring 1989.
  25. The New Labor History and the Historical Moment,” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 2, no. 3, pp. 367-370. Spring 1989.
  26. “Martin Delany, a Black Nationalist in Two Kinds of Time,” New England Journal of Black Studies 8. November 1989.
  27. “Hosea Hudson,” in Encyclopedia of the American Left, edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas, Oxford University Press, New York, 1990.
  28. “The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas: An Educated White Woman in the Eras of Slavery, War, and Reconstruction,” introduction to The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889, edited by Virginia Burr, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1990.
  29. Sojourner Truth in Life and Memory: Writing the Biography of an American Exotic,” Gender and History 2, no. 1, pp. 3-16. Spring 1990.
  30. Introduction” to reprinted edition of Jacqueline Bernard, Journey Toward Freedom: The Story of Sojourner Truth, Feminist Press, New York, 1990. The book was originally published in 1967.
  31. “‘The South,’ and ‘the Negro’: The Rhetoric of Race Relations and Real Life,” pp. 42-66 of The South for New Southerners, edited by Paul D. Escott and David R. Goldfield, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1991.
  32. Who Was Lynched?The Nation, 11 November 1991, p. 577.
  33. “Sojourner Truth,” in Notable Black American Women, edited by Jessie Carney Smith, Gale, Detroit, 1992.
  34. “New Medium Brings Old Message to Uninitiated” [on Rodney King aftermath], In These Times, 13-19 May 1992. Reprinted in Inside the LA Riots: What Really Happened And Why It Will Happen Again, Institute for Alternative Journalism, New York, 1992.
  35. “Of Lily, ‘Linda Brent,’ and Freud: A non-Exceptionalist Approach to Race, Class, and Gender in the Slave South,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 76, no. 2. Summer 1992.
  36. “Race and Gender in The Mind of the South: Cash’s Maps of Sexuality and Power,” in W.J. Cash and the Minds of the South, edited by Paul Escott, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1992.
  37. Hill, Thomas, and the Use of Racial Stereotype,” in Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality, edited by Toni Morrison, Pantheon, New York, 1992.
  38. “Sojourner Truth,” in Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, Carlson Publishing, Brooklyn, 1993.
  39. Malcolm X Across the Genres,” American Historical Review 98, no. 2, 396-404. April 1993.
  40. Suspicions of a Non-Movie-Goer,Contention: Debates in Society, Culture, and Science 2, no. 3, pp. 205-208. Spring 1993.
  41. Soul Murder and Slavery—The Fifteenth Charles Edmondson Historical Lecture, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, April 5 and 6, 1993.
  42. “Sojourner Truth,” in American Radical, edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, Harvey J. Kaye, Routledge, New York, 1994.
  43. “The Academic Marketplace and Affirmative Action,” AHA Perspectives, December 1993.
  44. “The Paradox of African-American History,” Atlanta Constitution, 10 February; Houston Chronicle, 18 February; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 15 February; Miami Herald, February 1994.
  45. The Ruckus Over Political Correctness,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 March 1994.
  46. Thinking about the Languages of Money and Race: A Response to Michael O’Malley, ‘Specie and Species’,” American Historical Review 99, no. 2, pp. 396-404. April 1994.
  47. “Difference, Slavery, and Memory: Sojourner Truth in Feminist Abolitionism,” pp. 139-158 of The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women’s Political Culture in Antebellum America, edited by Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1994.
  48. “Three Southern Women and Freud: A Non-Exceptionalist Approach to Race, Class, and Gender in the Slave South,” pp. 195-216 of Feminists Revision History, edited by Ann-Louise Shapiro, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1994.
  49. “Representing Truth: Sojourner Truth’s Knowing and Becoming Known,” Journal of American History 81, no. 2, 461-492. September 1994.
  50. “Sojourner Truth,” in A Companion to American Thought, edited by Richard Fox and James Kloppenberg, Blackwell, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1995.
  51. “Soul Murder and Slavery: Toward a Fully-Loaded Cost Accounting,” in U.S. History as Women’s History: New Feminist Essays, edited by Linda K. Kerber, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Kathryn Kish Sklar, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1995. Winner of the Brown Article Prize of the Association of Black Women Historians.
  52. “Hosea Hudson,” “Martin Robison Delany,” “Exodusters,” in Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, Macmillan Library Reference, New York, 1995.
  53. “Sojourner Truth,” in The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States, Oxford University Press, New York, 1995.
  54. “Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman,” Trenton Times, February 1996.
  55. “Sojourner Truth,” in American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 1997.
  56. “Slavery and Soul Murder,” partial reprint, in Black On White: Black Writers on What It Means to be White, edited by David R. Roediger, Schocken Books, New York, 1998.
  57. What Fifteen Leading Historians Are Working on Now,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 January 1998.
  58. Battles Are Far From Over in Culture’s Private Clubs,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 March 1998.
  59. “John Henrik Clark, 1915-1998,” Crisis, September/October 1998.
  60. Reparations: Be Black Like Me,” The Nation 270:20, 22 May 2000, p. 2.
  61. Regrets,” SIGNS 25 (4), 2000, 1213-1214.
  62. “Honest Abe and Uncle Tom,” Canadian Review of American Studies/Revue canadienne d’études américaines 30, no. 3, pp. 245-272. 2000.
  63. "Race and the Writing of History." African American Review, 36 (1), 2002, 138-139.
  64. Black Studies, Black Professors, and the Struggles of Perception,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 47 (16), 2000, B7-B9. Subsequent Letters to the Editor.
  65. Southerners, the Color Line, and Sex,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 June 2002.
  66. What People Just Don’t Understand About History,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 July 2002.
  67. “Voices of Suffrage: Sojourner Truth, Frances Watkins Harper, and the Struggle for Woman Suffrage,” in Jean H. Baker, ed., Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  68. “Claudia Tate: In memoriam,” African American Review, 36 (4), 2002, 1.
  69. Introduction: Claudia Tate and the Protocols of Black Literature and Scholarship,” The Journal of African American History, 88 (1), 2003, 59-65.
  70. Black History Month’s Most Important Lesson,” Newsday, 25 February 2003.
  71. "Black history has much to teach us about war," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Feb 28 2003.
  72. Mere Words Don't Do Slavery Justice,” Newsday, Jul 10 2003.
  73. Interchanges: The Practice of History,” Journal of American History, 90, No. 2 (September 2003).
  74. “Nellie McKay - A Memorial,” African American Review, 40 (1), 2006, 5-38.
  75. ’Who We Are’: Lawrence Levine as William James Pragmatist and Gustave de Beaumont,” The Journal of American History, 9 (3), 2006, 761-771.
  76. “Seeing High & Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture,” The Journal of American History, 93 (4), 2007, 1286-1287.
  77. “Senator Robert C. Byrd 2007 OAH Friend of History,” OAH Newsletter, 35 (2), 2007, 1-1, 3.
  78. “Into the OAH's Second Century,” OAH Newsletter, 35 (3), 2007, 3.
  79. “Reconsidering priorities: Some Responses,” OAH Newsletter, 35 (4), 2007, 3.
  80. High School and Community College Historians and the OAH,” OAH Newsletter, 36 (1), 2008, 1-1, 6.
  81. Was Marie White? The Trajectory of a Question in the United States,” The Journal of Southern History, 74 (1), Feb 2008, 3-30.
  82. Un Essai d'Ego-Histoire,” in Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower, Deborah Gray White, ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.
  83. Humanity, Scholarship, and Proud Race Citizenship: The Gifts of John Hope Franklin”, The Journal Of African American History, 94 (3), Summer 2009, 341-343.
  84. “Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Saxons,” Journal of American History, Mar 2009, 95 (4), 977-985.
  85. When Poverty Was White,The New York Times, Mar 25, 2012.
  86. What is Whiteness?The New York Times Sunday Review, June 20, 2015.
  87. What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era,The New York Times, November 12, 2016.
  88. Trump revives the idea of a ‘white manís country’, Americaís original sin,The Guardian, 20 July 2019.
  89. How we think about the term ‘enslaved’ matters,The Guardian, 14 August 2019.
  90. A Racist Attack Shows How Whiteness Evolves,The New York Times, October 26, 2019. (downloadable pdf)
  91. Seeing Police Brutality Then and Now,The New Yorker, June 18, 2020.
  92. On Horseback,” the Paris Review, June 19, 2020.
  93. White identity in America is ideology, not biology. The history of ‘whiteness’ proves it.NBC online news (, June 27, 2020.
  94. Why ‘White’ should be capitalized, too,The Washington Post, July 22, 2020. [The Washington Post print edition, July 23, 2020.] Longer version pdf, before editing to length for publication.
  95. It Shouldn’t Be This Close. But There’s Good News, Too. In the long lines of voters, I see hope.The New York Times, November 5, 2020.


Reviews and Review Essays

  1. Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America, by Lawrence Goodwyn, Oxford University Press, New York, 1976. Review in Virginia Quarterly Review 53, no. 4. Autumn 1977.
  2. In Search of Canaan: Black migration to Kansas, 1879-80, by Robert G. Athearn, Regents Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, c1978. Review in Journal of Southern History 45, no. 2. May 1979.
  3. Planters and the Making of a “New South”: Class, Politics, and Development in North Carolina, 1865-1900, by Dwight Billings, Jr., University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, c1979. Review in Social Forces 59, no. 1. September 1980.
  4. Paul Robeson Speaks: Writings, Speeches, Interviews, 1918-1974, edited with introduction and notes by Philip S. Foner, Brunner/Mazel, New York, c1978. Review in Harvard Educational Review 51, no. 1. February 1981.
  5. Bad Blood : the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment by James H. Jones, Free Press, New York, 1981. Review in Encore: American and Worldwide News, November 1981.
  6. Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis, Random House, 1981. Review in Ms., April 1982.
  7. Terminal Visions : The Literature of Last Things by W. Warren Wagar, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1982. A History of the End of the World by Yuri Rubinsky and Ian Wiseman, Quill, New York, 1982. Review, entitled “How We Died,” in The Nation, 236:18, 7 May 1983, pp. 582-584.
  8. Mary, Wayfarer by Mary Mebane, Viking Press, New York, 1983. Review in the North Carolina Independent, 11-24 November 1983.
  9. Tell About the South by Fred Hobson and Black Southerners by John Boles. Review, entitled “Who Speaks for the South?” in The Nation 238:10, 17 March 1984, pp. 326-328.
  10. Civil Wars by Rosellen Brown. Review in the North Carolina Independent, 14-17, September 1984.
  11. For the Ancestors by Bessie Jones and Hope and Dignity by Emily Wilson and Susan Mullally. Review in In These Times, 19-25 September 1984.
  12. The Mind of Frederick Douglass by Waldo Martin. Review in In These Times, 15-21 May 1985, and in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History 17, no. 3. Winter 1987.
  13. Long Memory: The Black Experience in America by Mary Frances Berry and John Blassingame. Oxford University Press, New York, 1982. Review in Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 9, no. 2, pp. 65-67. 1985.
  14. Thinking Back by C. Vann Woodward. Review in the Journal of American History 73, no. 3. December 1986.
  15. Power & Culture by Herbert Gutman and Ira Berlin. Review in The Washington Post Book World, 17 January 1988.
  16. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner. Review in the Boston Globe, 22 May 1988, and under the title “A Prize-Winning Book Revisited,” in Journal of Women’s History 2, no. 3. Winter 1991.
  17. Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. Review in The Washington Post Book World, 6 November 1988.
  18. Paul Robeson: A Biography by Martin Bauml Duberman. Review in the Boston Globe, 19 February 1989.
  19. The Fall of the House of Labor by David Montgomery. Review in Labor History 30, no. 1, pp. 117-121. Winter 1989.
  20. A Turn in the South by V. S. Naipaul. Review in the Journal of American History 76, no. 4. March 1990.
  21. A Life in the Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition by George Lipsitz. Review in International Labor and Working Class History 37. Spring 1990.
  22. Black Mosaic: Essays in Afro-American History and Historiography by Benjamin Quarles. Review in Journal of American History 77, no. 3. December 1990.
  23. Frederick Douglass by William McFeely. Review in Boston Globe, 13 January 1991.
  24. Ambiguous Lives: Free Women of Color in Rural Georgia, 1789-1879 by Adele Logan Alexander. Review in Washington Post Book World, 2 February 1992.
  25. Rébelles américaines au xixè siècle: mariage, amour libre et politique by Françoise Basch. Review in Journal of American History 79, no. 3. December 1992.
  26. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction by Edward L. Ayers. Review in Washington Post Book World, 1 November 1992.
  27. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity by James C. Cobb. Review in the New York Times Book Review, 7 March 1993.
  28. W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 by David Levering Lewis. Review in the Washington Post Book World, 24 October 1993 and the Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 1-7 November 1993.
  29. Frederick Douglass, Autobiographies: Narrative of the Life; My Bondage and My Freedom; Life and Times. Notes by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Review in New York Newsday, 20 February 1994.
  30. Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body by Karen Sánchez-Eppler. Review in The Journal of American History 81, no. 2, pp. 692-693. September 1994.
  31. Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth by Erlene Stetson and Linda David. Review in Journal of American History 82, no. 2. September 1995.
  32. Like Judgement Day: The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood by Michael D’Orso. Review in Washington Post Book World, February 4, 1996.
  33. Killing Rage: Ending Racism by Bell Hooks. Review in Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 11. Spring 1996.
  34. The Future of the Race by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West. Review, entitled “A Different Sense of Time,” in The Nation 262:18, May 6, 1996, pp. 38-43.
  35. Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893, by Kent Anderson Leslie. Review in African American Review 31, no. 3, pp. 538-539. 1997.
  36. Writing Biographies of Women,” review essay by Nell Irvin Painter, Journal of Women’s History 9, no. 2, pp. 154-163. Summer 1997.
  37. A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America by Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson. Broadway Books, New York, 1998. Review in Raleigh News & Observer, February 22, 1998.
  38. Trouble In Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, by Leon F. Litwack. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. Review, entitled “Black and Blue,” in The Nation 266:17, 11 May 1998, pp. 36-38.
  39. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America, by Saidiya V. Hartman. Oxford University Press, New York, 1997. Review in Journal of American History 85, no. 2, pp. 680-681. September 1998.
  40. Too Heavy A Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves by Deborah Gray White, W. W. Norton, New York, 1999. Review in Raleigh News and Observer, November 1, 1998.
  41. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America by Ira Berlin. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1998. Review in African American Review 34, no. 3, pp 138-139. Fall 2000.
  42. Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and The American Negro by John David Smith, University of Georgia Press, Athens, 2000. Review in Raleigh News and Observer, 6 February 2000.
  43. Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik, Random House, New York, 2000. Review in Raleigh News and Observer, 10 December 2000.
  44. Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History, by Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998. Review in African American Review 35, no. 1, pp 133-135. 2001.
  45. Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution by Diane McWhorter, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2001. Review in Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Fall 2001.
  46. Stylin’: African American Expressive Culture from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit by Shane White and Graham White. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1998. Review in Fashion Theory 5, no. 4, pp. 461-464. 2001.
  47. Race and the Writing of History: Riddling the Sphinx by Maghan Keita, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000. Review in African American Review 36, no. 1, pp 138-139. 2002.
  48. One Drop of Blood: The American Misadventure of Race by Scott Malcomson, Farrar, Straus Giroux, New York, 2000. Review in Journal of Southern History, 68 (3), 2002, 669-671.
  49. “Beyond `The Autobiography'.” [Review of Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X] Boston Globe. May 8, 2011, K.5.
  50. Mother of the Movement.” [Review of Jeanne Theoharis’s biography of Rosa Parks, "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks"] New York Times Book Review, Mar 31, 2013, 18-BR.18.
  51. “Long Divisions: The history of racism and exclusion in the United States is the history of whiteness.” [Review of Toni Morrison's book “The Origin of Others”] The New Republic, October 11, 2017.
  52. “In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War.” [Review of "Stony the Road," by Henry Louis Gates Jr.] The New York Times, April 27, 2019 Sunday Book Review print issue. (posted April 18, 2019)
  53. “What is White America? The Identity Politics of the Majority.” [Review of three books about white identity politics and its implications for the United States.] Foreign Affairs, November-December 2019: pp. 177-183. (posted at
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