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Nikki Brown


Nikki Brown has been teaching American and African American history since 1999.  She majored in History at Oberlin College, and she earned a PhD in History from Yale University in 2001.  Her book, Private Politics and Public Voices:  Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal (Indiana University Press) won the Letitia Woods Brown Award for Best Book in African American Women’s in History in 2006.  The major themes in Dr. Brown’s work are: gender, race, identity, representation, and politics.  Dr. Brown is also a professional photographer, and is has recently completed a photography project on African American men in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  She is currently working on a book about Louisiana’s Civil Rights Movement.  


Dr. Brown travels often to Turkey, where she taught Civil Rights history and American Women’s history in 2014 for one semester and 2018-2019 for the academic year, as a Senior Lecturer with the Fulbright/CIES Program. She is also preparing an oral history of the Afro-Turks, the African descendants of slaves in the Ottoman Empire.

Here's a link to her website and archive of Afro-Turk oral histories:


You can view Dr. Brown's photographs at:

Research Interests:
African American history
African American women
Film and Visual Studies
Selected Publications:


Private Politics and Public Voices: Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal.  An exploration of race, gender, and citizenship and how these matters reinforced African American women’s political claims for civic equality from World War I to the New Deal.  Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN.  January 2007.

Co-editor and Contributor. The Jim Crow Encyclopedia.  The encyclopedia chronicles the segregation of African Americans and other people of color in American public and political life, by describing Jim Crow’s effects in approximately 350 entries, including people, laws, issues, events, iconography, art, and terminology. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. October 2008.  With Barry Stentiford, Professor, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, co-editor and contributor.  

Second printing, Jim Crow: A Historical Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic with ABC-CLIO as a single volume, Fall 2014. 



“Keeping Black Motherhood out of Prison: African American Clubwomen Work to Abolish Convict Leasing in the Progressive Era.” Journal of African American History, Winter 2019

“Life and Luck after Katrina: African American Men, Oral History, and Mentoring in New Orleans, 2010 to 2014,” in After the Storm: The Cultural Politics of Hurricane Katrina. Transcript-Verlag;, Summer 2015

“In the wake of the storm: Mentoring programs, community groups, and a new civil rights movement after Hurricane Katrina.” The Black Scholar, Volume 45, Issue 3, 2015.

“Lillian Horace and the Respectable Black Woman: Black Women’s Activism in combating Jim Crow” in Recovering Five Generations Hence: the Life and Writing of Lillian Jones Horace, Karen Kossie-Chernyshev, ed., Texas A&M University Press, 2013.

“Federal War Work Agencies and Southern African American Women During World War I,” in  Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem: The Achievement of African-American Writers, Artists, and Thinkers, 1880-1914, Barbara McCaskill, ed., Associate Professor of African American Literature, University of Georgia; Caroline Gebhard, Tuskegee University (New York: New York University Press, 2006), pp 197-209.