American Studies

Jacqueline Jones


Affiliate FacultyPh.D., 1976, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Professor
Jacqueline Jones

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Biography


Jacqueline Jones is the author of several books, including, most recently, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America (2013). That book and Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present (25th Anniversary Edition, 2010) were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize; Labor of Love won the Bancroft Prize for 1986. Other works include Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, 1854-1872 (2008); Creek Walking: Growing Up in Delaware in the 1950s (2001); A Social History of the Laboring Classes from Colonial Times to the Present (1999); American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor (1998); The Dispossessed: America’s Underclasses from the Civil War to the Present (1993); and Soldiers of Light and Love: Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks, 1865-1873 (1992). She has won numerous grants and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship (1999-2004). She served as Vice President for the Professional Division of the American Historical Association from 2011 to 2014. Her current project is a full-length biography of Lucy Parsons, orator and labor agitator, who was born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851.

Articles & Essays


“Wartime Workers, Money-Makers: Black Labor in Civil-War-Era Savannah,” in Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris, eds., Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (University of Georgia Press, 2014)


“Georgia Lowcountry Battlegrounds during the Civil War,” in John D. Fowler and David B. Parker, Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2011), 67-93


“Labor and the Idea of Race in the American South,” Journal of Southern History, 75 (August, 2009):613-26


“A Spirit of Enterprise: The African-American Challenge to the Confederate Project in Civil War-Era Savannah,” in Philip D. Morgan, ed., African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee (University of Georgia Press, 2010) (received an Award for Excellence in Documenting Georgia’s Historical Past, Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board, 2010)


“All Educational Politics are Local: New Perspectives on Black Schooling in the Postbellum South,” in John Rury, ed., Rethinking the History of American Education (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)


“Shifting Paradigms of Black Women’s Work in the Urban North, World War II to the Present,” in Joe William Trotter and Kenneth Kusmer, eds., African- American Urban History Since World War II: The Dynamics of Race, Class, and Gender (University of Chicago Press, 2009)


Introduction to Jacqueline Jones, ed., The Best History Essays of 2006 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Spring, 2007


"Writing Women's History: What's Feminism Got to Do With It?" in Carol Berkin, Judith L. Pinch and Carole S. Appel, eds., Exploring Women’s Studies: Looking Forward, Looking Back (New York: Prentice Hall, 2005)


“Spheres of Economic Activity Among Southern Women in the Twentieth Century: An Introduction to the Future,” in Melissa Walker, ed., Southern Women at the Millennium: A Historical Perspective on the Twentieth Century (University of Missouri Press, 2004)


“The Idea of ‘Race’ as a Political Strategy in the Workplace: Historical Perspectives on Affirmative Action,” in Curtis Stokes, et al., eds., Race in 21st Century America (Michigan State University Press, 2001)


“The History and Politics of Poverty in Twentieth-Century America,” in Harvard Sitkoff, ed., Perspectives on Modern America: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 125-144.


“Ned Cobb: He Stood His Ground,” in Susan Ware, ed., Forgotten Heroes: Inspiring American Portraits from Our Leading Historians (New York: Free Press, 1998), pp. 203-11


“Gender and Race in Modern America,” in Twentieth-Fifth Anniversary issue of Reviews in American History, Louis Masur, ed. (Spring, 1998)


“Lifework and Its Limits: The Problem of Labor in W.E.B. DuBois’s The Philadelphia Negro, in Michael Katz and Thomas Sugrue, eds., DuBois’s Philadelphia Negro: A Centenary Reappraisal (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)


“Autobiography and Scholarship in Paul A. Cimbala and Robert F. Himmelberg, eds., Historians and Race: Autobiography and the Writing of History (Indiana University Press, 1996)


“Teaching What the Truth Compels You to Teach: A Historian’s View,” in Katherine J. Mayberry, ed., Teaching What You’re Not: Identity Politics in Higher Education (NYU Press, 1996)


“The Late Twentieth-Century War on the Poor: A View from Distressed Communities Throughout the Nation,” Boston College Third World Law Journal 16 (Winter 1996): 1-16


“Beyond ‘Race’ and ‘Culture’: American Underclasses in the Late Twentieth Century,” in George J. Demko and Michael C. Jackson, ed., Populations at Risk in America: Vulnerable Groups at the End of the Twentieth Century (Westview Press, 1995), pp. 1-18


“Back to the Future with The Bell Curve: Jim Crow, Slavery, and G,” in Steve Fraser, ed., The Bell Curve Wars (Basic Books, 1995)


“Men and Women in Northern New England During the Era of the Civil War,” Maine Historical Society Quarterly 33 (Fall, 1993)


“Encounters, Likely and Unlikely, Between Black and Poor White Women in the Rural South, 1865-1940,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 76 (Summer 1992): 333-53


“The Southern Diaspora: Southern Origins of the Northern ‘Underclass’” in Michael Katz, ed., The Historical Origins of the Underclass (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992)


“The Political Economy of Sharecropping Families, 1865-1940,” in Carol Bleser, ed., In Love and In Sorrow: Woman and Families in the Victorian South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990)


“Race, Sex, and Self-Evident Truths: The Status of Slave Women During the Era of the American Revolution,” in Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., Women in the Age of the American Revolution (University Press of Virginia, 1989)


“The Political Implications of Black and White Women’s Work in the South, 1890- 1965,” in Louise Tilly and Patricia Gurin, ed., Women in Twentieth-Century American Politics (Russell Sage, 1989


“Fact and Fiction in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 57 (Winter 1988): 653-69


“’Tore Up and a Movin’: Perspectives on the Work of Black and Poor White Women in the Rural South, 1865-1940,” in Wava G. Haney and Jane B. Knowles, eds., Women and Farming: Changing Roles, Changing Structure (Westview Press, 1988)


“The Public Dimensions of ‘Private Life’: Southern Women and Their Families, 1865- 1965,” in Priscilla C. Little and Robert C. Vaughn, eds., A New Perspective: Southern Women’s Culture from the Civil War to Civil Rights (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1989


“’My Mother Was Much of a Woman’” Black Women, Work, and the Family Under Slavery, 1830-1860,” Feminist Studies 8 (Summer 1982): 235-70


“Women Who Were More Than Men: Sex and Status in Freedmen’s Teaching,” History of Education Quarterly 19 (Spring 1979): 47-5


“The Delaware Association for the Moral Improvement and Education of the Colored People,” Delaware History 15 (April 1972): 19-40


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Books


A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America

Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to The Present

Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, 1854-1872

Created Equal: A History of the United States with Peter Wood, Elaine Tyler May, Tim Borstelmann, and Vicki Ruiz

Creek Walking: Growing Up in Delaware in the 1950s

A Social History of the Laboring Classes from Colonial Times to the Present

American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor

The Dispossessed: America’s Underclasses from the Civil War to the Present

Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present

Soldiers of Light and Love: Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks

Videos


The Myth of the Race

Watch video here.

Myth of Race

Author Jacqueline Jones talks about her book A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, in which she argues that “race” does not exist, and was created as a justification and rationalization for slavery. Professor Jones is a Bancroft Prize winning author who specializes in the American South from 1861 to 1941.


Not Even Past

Watch video here.

Jacqueline Jones on the Myth of Race in America

Like countless other cultures and countries throughout the world, the United States has its own creation myth—its own unique, dramatic story intended to explain where we came from and who we are today. In the case of the United States, this story holds that the nation was conceived in “racial” differences, and that over the last four centuries these self-evident differences have suffused our national character and shaped our national destiny.