Martha S. Jones

NOTE: On leave Fall 2019

Martha S. Jones

Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Association Presidential Professor and a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches history, African American studies, and law. She also serves as copresident of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty, she codirected the University of Michigan Law School's Program in Race, Law, and History and was a public interest litigator in New York City, where she advocated for the rights of people with disabilities. In 2013-2014, she was the William C. and Ida Friday Fellow at the National Humanities Center.

A nineteenth-century U.S. historian with an interest in race and inequality, she is the author of the Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018) and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900 (2007), a study of African American debates about women's rights. She is also a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (2015). She is a contributor to Muster, the blog of the Journal of the Civil War Era.

Jones was a guest editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era special issue, "Proclaiming Emancipation" (2013), which marked the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. An active public intellectual, Jones has been a commentator for the Washington Post, Huffington Post and, and has curated public exhibitions on the history of race and caricature in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world, including "Proclaiming Emancipation" (2012-2013), which examined interpretations of the Emancipation Proclamation through the holdings of the William L. Clements Library.

Click here for more information about Martha S. Jones.

Twitter: @marthasjones_.


  • Birthright Citizens: Winner and Losers in the Long History of the Fourteenth Amendment
  • Caricature and Visual Culture: How the United States, France, and Britain Invented Race
  • Dr. King's Strength to Love and the Ethics of Civil Rights
  • The Puzzle of Free Black Citizenship: Port City Encounters from Baltimore to Rio de Janeiro
  • The Social Construction of Race in U.S. Law and Culture
  • Thurgood Marshall's Baltimore: Race and Rights in the Local Courthouse

Process: A Blog for American History

On The Cherokee Rose, Historical Fiction, and Silences in the Archives


"The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity"

This lecture was presented as part of the Created Equal initiative at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, in September 2015. Recorded by the college's Pulliam Fellow Videographer, Ian Mullen ‘16.

Visit the OAH YouTube channel for more audio and video recordings.