My interests are largely in the study of the African Diaspora with a focus on relationships between people of African descent in the United States and the Caribbean with the African continent. I have a secondary interest in African women's history. I have also done research and published in the area of African immigration to the United States with a focus on the late 19th and early 20th century.
I have received recognition as a scholar with a national reputation in the areas of African Diaspora and Black Atlantic history. I have been invited to be a volume editor for a three volume work on The History of the African Diaspora to be published by Cambridge University Press, general editor, Michael Gomez of New York University.
I am highly sought after as a speaker on the history of the African Diaspora and African immigration.
My work straddles the 18th through the 21st centuries, exploring the history of women and men of African descent in the Atlantic world. My most recent scholarship examines ties between Africa and its Diaspora, with a special focus on North America and American history. I am currently working on a project on African immigrants in the United States and
a family biography of a black Atlantic family, spanning the 18th century to the present. It begins in slavery in various locations in the Americas: Richmond, Virginia, Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Danish Virgin Islands, and crisscrosses the Atlantic world to locations such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, Britain, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, DC.
I believe students recognize my effectiveness as a teacher. My student evaluations garner ratings that are above the department average range. My approach to teaching history follows from a commitment to the discipline of history and to an interdisciplinary approach to learning. My goal in my classes is to convey my own excitement about historical investigation and the process of history. It is crucial, particularly for undergraduates, to understand history as interpretation, as an array of perspectives, biases, and ideologies. This imperative is particularly important for those of us who teach the history of populations of African descent. As a scholar of the African Diaspora, I have been attentive to the needs of students who take my classes. While my first and foremost goal is to teach students about history and the methods historians use to reconstruct the past, I am sensitive to the fact that my students of African descent often take my classes to learn about their history and heritage. Striking the balance between these two objectives – getting them to step back and see a complicated picture, and instilling pride in their heritage—guide my teaching.
4.Service. This year , in addition to my other departmental obligations, I served as committee member to fill a position in Black Atlantic Archaeology for the Anthropology department and on a Curriculum committee at the Eliott School.