December 9: Jacqueline Jones: “The Myth of Race and Its Many Political Uses, from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America”

In this presentation to the Washington History Seminar, Jacqueline Jones focused upon the different uses of the myth of race in specific times and places. The life-stories of a Maryland slave murdered by his master; a fugitive in Revolutionary South Carolina; a savvy businesswoman in antebellum Providence; a principled Republican in post-Civil War Savannah; a school principal in segregationist Mississippi; and a Marxist autoworker in industrial Detroit all suggest the shifting, contradictory nature of racial mythologies from the seventeenth century to the present.

Jacqueline Jones teaches at the University of Texas at Austin where she directs the history graduate program. She is the author of a number of books in African-American and labor history, including A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America (2013). She has received, among other awards, the Bancroft Prize in American history and a MacArthur Fellowship (1999-2004). She is currently Vice-President of the Professional Division of the American Historical Association.

Report from the Field: Matthew A. Wasniewski, Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A webcast and podcast will be available here a few weeks after the seminar. C-SPAN also recorded the session for its American History TV series. We will note the air date here when it is announced.