Faculty Expert Profile

Martha Jones

  • Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History


  • Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Martha S. Jones is a historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of U.S. democracy. She is the author of the 2018 book, "Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America," and of the 2007 work, "All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900."

Jones is also co-editor of "Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women" and is currently completing "Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” The book is scheduled to be published in 2020 in conjunction with the 19th Amendment’s centennial. In addition, Jones is working on a biography of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney.

Jones is recognized as a public historian, frequently writing for broader audiences at outlets including the Washington Post, the Atlantic, USA Today, Public Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time. She has curated museum exhibitions including “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation” in conjunction with the William L. Clements Library, and has collaborated with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, the Southern Poverty Law Center, PBS, Netflix, and Arte (France).

Jones currently serves as a president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and on the Organization of American Historians executive board. Prior to her academic career, Jones was a public interest litigator in New York City.

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