Tera W. Hunter is a professor in the History Department and the Center for African-American Studies who specializes in African-American history and gender in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her research has focused on African American women and labor in the South during that period. Her first book, To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War, focuses on the experiences of working-class women, especially domestic workers, in Atlanta and other southern cities from Reconstruction through the 1920s. Michael Honey in his review in the American Historical Review called it a “triumph of research, astute analysis, and engaging imagination that deserves to be widely read by students of African-American, labor, and women’s studies and of American history.”
The book won several awards including the H. L. Mitchell Award in 1998 from the Southern Historical Association, the Letitia Brown Memorial Book Prize in 1997 from the Association of Black Women’s Historians and the Book of the Year Award in 1997 from the International Labor History Association. The book was also named an Exceptional Book of 1997 by Library Booknotes, Bookman Book Review Syndicate.
A native of Miami, Professor Hunter attended Duke University where she graduated with Distinction in History. She received a M.Phil. in history from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Yale. Professor Hunter was an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She joined the Princeton faculty in the fall 2007. She has received numerous fellowships and grants including a Mary I. Bunting Institute fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University from 2005 to 2006 and a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship from the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis from 2001 to 2002 and a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Museum of American History from 1993 to 1994.
Professor Hunter is currently working on a book exploring the history of marriage among African-Americans in the 19th century, under contract with Harvard University Press. She is also co-authoring: The Making of a People: A History of African-Americans with Robin D. G. Kelley and Earl Lewis under contract with W. W. Norton Press.
Professor Hunter is co-teaching "Liberating Literacy" with Robert (Bob) Moses, Civil Rights leader and founder of the Algebra Project, Spring 2012. Other courses include: History of African-American Families, Comparative Slavery in the Americas, and African-American Women's History.
Selected Articles and Publications
“The Forgotten Legacy of Shirley Chisholm: Race versus Gender in the 2008 Democratic Primaries,” pp. 66-85 in Liette Gidlow, ed Obama, Clinton, Palin: Making History in Election 2008 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, expected Jan. 2012)
Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History, Eric Arneson, ed., Joe McCartin, Cindy Hahmovitch, Leon Fink, Bruce Laurie, associate editors, (Taylor & Francis Books Inc., Routledge, 2006).
"'Sexual Pantomimes,' the Blues Aesthetic, and Black Women in the South," in Ron Radano and Phil Bholman, eds. Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001)
"'The "Brotherly Love" for which this City is Proverbial Should Extend to All': Working-Class Women in Philadelphia and Atlanta in the 1890s." W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and the City, Michael Katz and Thomas Sugrue, eds. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998).