OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Deborah Gray White

Portrait of Deborah Gray White

Deborah Gray White is the Board of Governors Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Most recently, she is a coauthor, with Mia Bay and Waldo E. Martin, of Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, with Documents (2012). She is also the author of Ar'n't I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (1985 and 1999), the first gendered analysis of the institution of slavery; Two Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 (1999); and Let My People Go: African Americans, 1804-1860 (1996); and the editor of Telling Histories: Black Women in the Ivory Tower (2008), a collection of personal narratives written by African American women historians that chronicle the entry of black women into the historical profession and the development of the field of black women's history. A codirector of "Narratives of Power: New Articulations of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class," a two-year seminar and conference project with the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. Her newest book, Lost in the USA: American Identity at the Turn of Millennium (2017), examines the impact of immigration, multiculturalism, feminism, globalization, and de-industrialization on Americans during the 1990s.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Examines the challenge mounted by black sexual minorities in the 1990s to black heterosexual identity.
This lecture explores the way immigration, the rights movements, multiculturalism, globalization and deindustrialization affected Americans of all races and their response to a changed and changing America.
Examines intersectionality as a tool of analysis and coalition building. Suggests that while it is a positive for the former it poses severe challenges for the latter.
Underscores the similarities of black and white women despite the fact that they can't seem to get along.