Distinguished Lecturers
Stephanie J. Shaw

Stephanie J. Shaw

Stephanie J. Shaw is a professor of history at Ohio State University. She is the author of What a Woman Ought to Be and to Do: Black Professional Women Workers during the Jim Crow Era (1996) and W. E. B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk (2013) as well as a contributor to The Blackwell Companion to the American South (2002) and a contributing editor of the Harvard Guide to African-American History (2001). She is currently completing a book on slave migration during the Antebellum Era first (1820-60) focusing on female slaves, families, and communities. She has held post-doctoral fellowships at The National Humanities Center, the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute, The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Stanford Humanities Center.

OAH Lectures by Stephanie J. Shaw

Beyond their being revered figures in slave families and communities, this lecture shows that they were critical to the actual survival of families and communities.

It has always been clear that slave children worked. They appear in most literature as performing simple tasks--fanning flies away from dinner tables as their owners' families age, running errands, carrying water to fields for the adult laborers. This paper focuses on the extent and value of the labor of enslaved children particularly in the cotton fields.

We have known for some time that the forced migration of slaves during the Antebellum Era destroyed many families. This lecture focuses on the specific damage done in the context of life course analyses.

Despite the oppressive nature of the Jim Crow Era, black families and communities from all class backgrounds worked to prepare their daughters for leadership. Because of this preparation, the women became vanguard figures in social justice movements generations before the start of the modern Civil Rights Movement.


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