2021 JAH African American History Index

February 22, 2021

Anna Julia Cooper was the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in history. She earned her Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Her dissertation, “L’attitude de la France à l’égard de l’esclavage pendant la revolution,” was not translated into English until 1988, as Slavery and the French Revolutionists, 1788–1805. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-B5-50626.

In honor of Black History Month, we at the Journal of American History are pleased to re-release the JAH African American History Index. First published in 2019, the index includes every article of African American history we have ever printed, from our inception as the Mississippi Valley Historical Review more than one hundred years ago, through our most recent issue, published in December 2020.

Consisting of 230 entries, the index was created collaboratively by the JAH staff. We limited our search to articles, an imprecise category that expanded to include roundtables, special forums, and presidential addresses from the annual meetings of the Organization of American Historians. For the sake of manageability, we purposefully excluded thousands of book, film, and exhibition reviews. Finally, in deliberating the parameters of African American history, we determined to index only those articles primarily concerned with Black people; we left out many important essays on closely related topics, such as whiteness studies. Notwithstanding these guidelines, each staff member ultimately had to make tough decisions about what material to add to the index and what material to leave off. For these reasons, we consider the index a work in progress. We apologize for any inadvertent omissions, and we welcome recommendations for addition.

For posts on African American history, click here. To preview issues of the Journal of American History, click here.