OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Brett Gadsden

Portrait of Brett Gadsden

Brett Gadsden is an associate professor of African American studies at Northwestern University and a historian of twentieth-century U.S. and African American history. His first book, Between North and South: Delaware, Desegregation, and the Myth of American Sectionalism (2013), chronicles the three-decades-long struggle over segregated schooling in Delaware, a key border state and important site of civil rights activism, education reform, and white reaction. His current manuscript in progress, entitled “From Protest to Politics: The Making of a ‘Second Black Cabinet,’” explores the set of historical circumstances that brought African Americans into consultative relationships with presidential candidates and later into key cabinet, subcabinet, and other important positions in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, offering unprecedented access to centers of power in the federal government. He has received fellowships and grants from the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Libraries, the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Historical Association, the Hagley Museum and Library, and the Delaware Heritage Commission.

OAH Lectures