Black Historians to Follow on Social Media

Around the internet, black historians are offering commentary and insight to things most people have never heard of. Follow these intrepid scholars to learn more about American History and more! This list is by no means exhaustive and will be updated — tell us who you are following that should be on this list, too!

Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation’s Divide, a New York Times Bestseller, Washington Post Notable Book of 2016, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner.  She is also the author of Eyes Off the Prize:  The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955; Bourgeois Radicals:  The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960, and One Person, No Vote:  How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy, which was long-listed for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Galbraith Award in non-fiction.

Mary Frances Berry

Mary Frances Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought & History at Penn and the author of 13 books. Since her college years at Howard University, Mary Frances Berry has been one of the most visible activists in the cause of civil rights, gender equality and social justice in our nation. Serving as Chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Berry demanded equal rights and liberties for all Americans during four Presidential administrations. 

Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include The Emperor of Ocean Park and Back Channel, and his nonfiction includes Civility and Integrity.

Dr. Kim Vaz-DeVille

Bio: Kim Vaz-Deville, Ph.D. is professor of education and the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. Her book, The Baby Dolls: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2013 and was the basis for a major installation, “They Call Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition” at the Louisiana State Museum’s Presbytere unit in 2013. It is the 2016 selection of the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans’ One Book One New Orleans.

Freddi Williams Evans

Bio: Freddi Williams Evans is an arts education consultant and the author of Come Sunday: A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square and Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, which received the 2012 Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award and has been published in French. Her research and advocacy for Congo Square influenced the New Orleans City Council to pass an ordinance in 2012 that made the popular name, “Congo Square,” the official name of the national landmark. Along with numerous essays, her speaking engagements include presentations in France (Paris, Aulnay and Bordeaux) and Senegal (Dakar and St. Louis) sponsored by the American Embassies in those locations.  She participated in Fulbright Teacher Abroad programs in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Japan and additional study-travels in Ghana, Haiti and Cuba.

Tanisha C. Ford is the Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at University of Delaware. She is an award-winning writer, historian, and public speaker who blends a love of fashion, performance, and her commitment to social justice to create an innovative approach to studying the social movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is invested in research and grassroots initiatives that bring the often marginalized voices of young women of color around the world to the forefront. She is the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul, Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful, and Dressed in Dreams:A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion

Kali Gross

Kali Nicole Gross is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She is also the National Publications Director for the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), 2019-2021, and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Her primary research explores Black women’s experiences in the U.S. criminal justice system and her expertise and opinion pieces have been featured in press outlets such as Vanity FairTIMEThe Root, BBC News, EbonyHuffPo, Warscapes, The Washington Post, and Jet. Her award-winning books include, Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910, winner of the 2006 Leticia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, and, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America,winner of the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction. Her latest book, co-authored with Daina Ramey Berry, is A Black Women’s History of the United States(Beacon Press, 2020).

Dr. Vanessa M Holden

Dr. Holden received her Ph.D. in African American and Women’s and Gender History from Rutgers University. Her work focuses on the Southampton Rebellion of 1831 (Nat Turner’s Rebellion) and the participation and experiences of women before, during, and after America’s most famous slave rebellion. She is also the co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group (#QSWG) with Jessica M. Johnson (Johns Hopkins). Her research and teaching interests include African-American history, women’s and gender history, the history of the American South, and U.S. history (pre-1865). 

Jessica Marie Johnson

Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora. She is the author of Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2020). She is Founding Curatrix at African Diaspora, Ph.D. or #ADPhD (, co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky), a member of the LatiNegrxs Project (, and a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence ( As a historian and Black Studies scholar, Johnson researches black diasporic freedom struggles from slavery to emancipation.

As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent.

Marya McQuirter

Marya Annette McQuirter, PhD, curator of the dc1968 project, has 20+ years of experience utilizing digital, emerging & print media, and face to face conversation, to create excellent content for the public.She is the co-author of a volume in the award-winning Young Oxford History of African Americans series. She also authored the African American Heritage Trail Guide, Washington, DC, an award-winning 100-page guide highlighting the long history of African Americans in the nation’s capital.

Cheyney McKnight

Cheyney McKnight is the founder and owner of Not Your Momma’s History. She acts as an interpreter advocate for interpreters of color at historical sites up and down the east Coast, providing them with much needed on call support.

Not Your Momma’s History consults with and aids museums, historical sites, historical societies, private businesses, etc. in developing specialized programming about slavery and the African experience within 18th and 19th century America.  NYMH also trains staff from all backgrounds on how to talk about slavery with diverse audiences.

Dr. Crystal Sanders

Crystal R. Sanders is a historian of the United States in the twentieth century.  Her research and teaching interests include African American History, Black Women’s History, and the History of Black Education.  She received her PhD in History from Northwestern University and received her BA in History and Public Policy from Duke University.  She is a Historian, Speaker, Professor, and Author of the award-winning A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle (UNC Press 2016).

Dr. Cornell West

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He is the author of 20 books, best known  for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.