#MLKDay Message from 2019 ABWH National Director Erica Armstrong Dunbar

As much of the nation took the day to be intentional about service, I thought about the service that we do every day. We teach, we write, we direct, we archive, we collect, and we produce history that has been erased or ignored. We are the Association of Black Women Historians−a network of scholars that encompass every region of the nation. We are everywhere. Our work is everywhere.

“Surviving R. Kelly” in context: Insights from the history of black girlhood

While many elements of the predatory behavior revealed in “Surviving R. Kelly” are distinctly contemporary—the centrality of cell phones, for instance, in facilitating Kelly’s luring young girls to his side—the documentary also highlights some continuities rippling through the lives of generations of black girls and women. Studies which place black girls at the center of American history are arguably more important now than ever because they add empirical weight to what many of us know intuitively: that African American girls, instead of reaping the full rewards of social change, have historically experienced more than their fair share of punishment, blame, and vulnerability.


The Association of Black Women Historians is pleased to announce the 2018 Letitia Woods Brown Prize for the best book, anthology, and article in African American/African Diaspora women’s history.  The competition is open to all books, anthologies, and articles concerning African American/African Diaspora women’s history published between June 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018, including those written by members and non-members of ABWH.  The prizes are awarded annually. Authors should ask their press to nominate …

Congratulations Dr. Karen Cook Bell

Congratulations to Karen Cook Bell, who received tenure and promotion at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD.  Dr. Bell is now Associate Professor of History at Bowie State University.  Her book Claiming Freedom: Race, Kinship, and Land in Nineteenth-Century Georgia will be published in January 2018 by the University of South Carolina Press.