Leah Wright Rigueur

Leah Wright Rigueur

Image credit: Gina Henderson

Leah Wright Rigueur is an assistant professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her research interests include twentieth-century United States political and social history and modern African American history, with an emphasis on race, civil rights, social and political movements, political ideology, the American two-party system, and the presidency. She is the author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (2015) which examines the ideas and actions of black Republican activists, officials, and politicians from the era of the New Deal to Ronald Reagan’s presidential ascent in 1980. Her work offers not only a new understanding of both the tumultuous relationship between African Americans and the Republican Party, but also provides important insights into black political opinions and behaviors and the transformation of modern political institutions throughout the twentieth century. Currently she is working on a project examining black appointees during the Reagan and Bush presidential administrations, with a focus on economic justice and social welfare policies; she is also working on a project examining the intersection of political and social movements and the 2016 presidential election.

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Twitter: @LeahRigueur.


  • "Black Women Will Rally!" Black Women, Intersectional Politics, and the 2016 Presidential Election *
  • American Political Parties and the Problem of "Race" in the Modern Era
  • Conscience of a Black Conservative: Modern Black Politics and the Long History of Black Conservatism
  • How the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election *
  • Neoliberal Social Justice: From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama
  • Republicans and Race in the Modern Era
  • The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power

Lectures marked with a * are offered as part of the OAH's initiative, Historians' Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump.