Distinguished Lecturers
Brenda E. Stevenson

Brenda E. Stevenson

Brenda E. Stevenson is the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair and Professor of Women's History at St. John's College, University of Oxford, and she served as Nickoll Family Endowed Chair and professor of history and of African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her areas of interest include race and gender generally, and she has written and lectured widely on the southern white and black family, black women historically, and the nature of racial conflict and race riots in the United States. Her books include Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South (1996), which won an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights; The Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimke (1988); The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the L.A. Riots (2013), which received the OAH James A. Rawley Prize; and What is Slavery? (2015). Her latest book, What Sorrows Labour in My Parent's Breast?: A History of the Enslaved Black Family (2023) focuses on slave women and family in the southern colonial and antebellum United States.

NEW IN 2023: What Sorrows Labour In My Parents’ Breast? A History Of The Enslaved Black Family Rowan & Littlefield

OAH Lectures by Brenda E. Stevenson

This lecture centers on the families, labor and cultural attributes of enslaved blacks in North America during the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Based on her 2023 book, What Sorrows Labour in My Parent's Breast? A History of the Enslaved Black Family, this lecture centers on the Civil and post-war experiences of black women who were enslaved. There is particular attention paid to gender and familial relations within and across racial lines, labor and social ritual.

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