LaShawn Harris is an associate professor of History at Michigan State University and assistant editor for the Journal of African American History (JAAH). Her area of expertise includes twentieth century African American and Black Women’s histories. Harris’s scholarly essays are published in The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of Women’s History, and SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. Her first monograph, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy, won the 2017 Organization of American Historians' (OAH) Darlene Clark Hine award for the best book in African American women's and gender history and the Philip Taft Labor Prize from The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) and the Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) School at Cornell University. Harris’s work has been featured in popular media outlets, including TV-One, Glamour Magazine, Elle, Vice, and Black Perspectives. Harris’s current research project explores the socioeconomic and political lives of African American women in New York City during the 1980s.
This presentation tells the unfamiliar story of Black New Yorkers' longstanding political fight against police brutality during the 1980s; a period widely remembered for urban decay, economic instability, political conservativism, crime, racial violence, and new cultural music and art forms.