Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
M.S. Drexel University
I am a historian of African American life with special interests in gender, mass media, and sexuality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I have been specifically engaged in examining the relationships between textual and visual images of race, gender, class and sexuality and the development of early twentieth century African American mass media. Currently I am working on a few projects: a book manuscript entitled Covering the Race in Black and White: Sexuality and Modern Black Newspapers, 1925-1945. The study argues that black newspapers' sensational coverage of homosexuality, heterosexuality and interracial sexuality between 1925 and 1945 actually fit within longstanding racial uplift objectives of African American institutions. In addition to the manuscript, I am also working on a journal-length article, “The Dancing Evangelist: G. W. Becton, the Baltimore Afro-American and Early Twentieth Century African American Religion and Sexuality.” The article details the life and sexuality of George Wilson Becton, a popular traveling evangelist of the first few decades of the twentieth century.
The classes I teach cover the field African American Studies and the history of black life in the United States and throughout the Diaspora. My courses also offer students opportunities to consider the evolving concepts of sexuality and African American womanhood and manhood and their roles in shaping a collective African American identity. When students leave my classes at the end of the term I want to them to feel as though they have traveled a challenging but satisfying journey, which has illuminated both the past and present lives of African Americans.
Introduction to African American Studies
Introduction to the History of Sexuality
The African American Experience I: to 1896
“And May the Best Woman Win!”: RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Historical Function of Race in Drag Culture and Gay Male Communities” presented at Mid-Atlantic Popular American Culture Association (October 28-30, 2010)
“The Economic House that the Black Press Built: Black Newspapers’ Role in African American Fiscal Empowerment” presented at “The History of Black Economic Empowerment” 95th Annual Association for the Study of African American Life and History Convention (September 29 – October 3 2010)
“The Dancing Evangelist: G. W. Becton, the Baltimore Afro-American and the Negotiation between the Black Press and Black Church for Power, 1925-1935” Presented at “Power and Place in African American History” Fourth Annual New Perspectives on African American History and Culture Conference, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (February 26-27, 2010)