My story

Thank you for visiting my website, where you can learn about me, my scholarly work, and how to invite me to your campus or community.

My background

I am currently a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  previously, I was Assistant Professor of Honors at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.  I am a proud native of Chicago, Illinois, and I'm an even prouder graduate of the following schools: St. Ignatius College Prep, the University of Missouri-Columbia (B.A. Journalism/Religious Studies), and Brown University (A.M. and Ph.D., American Civilization).  

I am a Harry S. Truman scholar, Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the U.S. American Fellow, Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life Amethyst Award recipient, French American Foundation Young Leader,  and a recipient of Georgetown University's  Dorothy M. Brown Teaching Award, the Edward Bunn, S.J. Award for Faculty Excellence, and the College Academic Council's Faculty Award.  

In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named me a Top Influencer in Higher Education.


In addition to being a scholar, I am a professional speaker and an educator's educator.  I enjoy talking to and teaching communities about a variety of topics, especially how to have difficult conversations about race and social justice.  I also train fellow faculty and K-12 teachers on creating an inclusive classroom.  In August 2014, I created the Twitter campaign #Fergusonsyllabus in order to organize a response to the crisis in Ferguson.

I regularly offer comments on current events and social issues on television, radio, and in newspapers.  My thoughts on race, gender, politics and education have appeared in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Time.Com, and TheAtlantic.Com. I have also been a guest on on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, PBS, National Public Radio, the Call Your Girlfriend podcast, and other outlets.

In 2016, I launched Office Hours: A Podcast, in which I talk to students about the things we don't talk about in class.  I recently took a break from Office Hours to co-host an arc of the Undisclosed Podcast, entitled "The Killing of Freddie Gray."  Tune in here.

My research

I am a historian of black girls and girlhood during the Great Migration.  My first book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration was published by Duke University Press in 2015.  I am currently writing a book about race and fast food, From Sit-In to Drive-Thru: Black America in the Age of Fast Food (under contract, Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton). 

I teach courses on African American history, food studies, and women's activism.