I am a teacher, a researcher, and a civically engaged scholar of the public humanities. Currently,I serve as an Assistant Professor of African American and African History at Montgomery College (Rockville + Germantown campuses).
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, I grew up black and queer in the largest municipality in an otherwise relatively rural state. At an early age the community introduced me to it's role in the Modern Civil Rights era. My love of studying the past was first forged through listening to elders talk to each other.
The earliest spaces where history became alive for me (beyond family porches), was in museums. While in college at the University of Montevallo, I interned and later worked at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI). Beyond church, that was one of my greatest training grounds for facilitating rich conversations and developing public programs.
My BCRI colleagues created the type of space that made working in the museum field deeply rewarding. That place led me to pursue graduate studies in history museum studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY-Oneonta), where my master's thesis was a study of the early history of African Americans in the Village of Cooperstown.
After working in the field for a couple years, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in US History, focusing on gendered dynamics of black social welfare in institution building during the post Reconstruction period in the Deep South. From 2018 to 2020 I worked with the National Park Service as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and Sexuality.
I am the daughter of two first generation college students who both went on to obtain graduate degrees in education. They also both retired as public school educators. My upbringing was informed as much by my parent's love of knowledge, as my own relationship with books.
The work I do now--teaching, researching, and civically engaged scholarship is as much informed by this past, as our present.