My current research explores the experiences of confined African-American women in Kentucky from Reconstruction to the Progressive Era, specifically illuminating the lives of confined black women by examining places other than carceral locales as arenas of confinement, including mental health asylums and domestic spaces. I seek to explore how these women both defied and defined confinement through their incarceration, interactions with public, social and political entities of the period, as well as how they challenged Victorian ideas of race and femininity and shaped prison and political reform in Kentucky.
I am definitely a historian of the African-American experience, women, and the U.S. South. While my dissertation centers on confinement in Kentucky, the project has led me to follow the rabbit hole to more on legal history and politics, African-American life and spirituality, and social activism in the American South. My master’s thesis research explored the race riots of the Red Summer of 1919 and the implementation and consequences of the use of martial law during the 1918 and 1919 race riots in Charleston, South Carolina.
Background images courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Capital City Museum, Frankfort, Kentucky.