Cheryl D. Hicks is an associate professor of Africana Studies and History at the University of Delaware. Her research addresses the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and the law. She specializes in late nineteenth and twentieth-century African American and American history as well as urban, gender, and civil rights history. Hicks is the author of Talk With You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935 (2010), a book that illuminates the voices and viewpoints of black working-class women, especially southern migrants, who were the subjects of urban and penal reform in early-twentieth-century New York. The book won the 2011 Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians and honorable mentions from the Organization of American Historians’ Darlene Clark Hine Award and the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize. She has published in The Journal of African American History, The University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Her current project focuses on the shifting meanings of sexuality, criminality, and black civil rights struggles in Gilded Age and Progressive-Era America.
This lecture places the concerns and desires of working-class black women and girls at the center of an urban narrative that focuses on New York's Jim Crow criminal justice system.