OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Joe William Trotter Jr.

Portrait of Joe William Trotter Jr.

Joe William Trotter Jr. is the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also founded and directs of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy. His books include Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915–1945 (1985, new edition 2007); Coal, Class, and Color: Blacks in Southern West Virginia, 1915–1932 (1990); River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley (1998); the two-volume textbook, The African American Experience (2001); Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II (2010), with Jared N. Day; and, most recently, a history of black workers since the Atlantic slave trade, Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America (2018). Dozens of his scholarly articles and essays have appeared in a variety of edited volumes and professional journals, including the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of American Ethnic History, and the International Review of Social History. Trotter teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African American and U.S. urban, labor, and working-class history. He has spoken in a variety of professional forums in the United States and abroad, including institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, and the Middle East. He is also a past president of the Labor and Working-Class History Association and a past vice president of Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian affiliate.

OAH Lectures