Faculty Expert Profile

Lawrence Jackson

  • Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History


  • Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Languages spoken

  • English

Lawrence Jackson studies 20th century African-American literature and culture and is known for his work on structural foundations of racism and inequality.

Jackson writes about the historical forces behind unrest in the city of Baltimore, including mass incarceration, housing segregation, and disparities in health care and education, and interrogates the discrepancy between the city's rich history and its current record levels of poverty and alienation.

Jackson launched and serves as director of the Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts, an initiative that showcases the unique arts, history, and culture of Baltimore. The center fosters organic links between the intellectual life of Johns Hopkins and the city's historic African-American communities, celebrating the strengths and potential of both.

Recent coverage

From Churn to Burn
/ Harper's Magazine

Hub coverage

New details of Billie Holiday's early life
Published April 11, 2023
With a newly acquired collection of Billie Holiday biographical materials, JHU historians are piecing together details about the jazz singer's largely unknown early life in Baltimore
Native son
Published April 22, 2022
In 'Shelter,' JHU Professor of English and History Lawrence Jackson processes a homecoming to Baltimore

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