2019-2020: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow
Traci Parker is an assistant professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement examines African Americans’ movement to integrate white-collar work and consumption in twentieth-century department stores and its relationship to the civil rights movement. Parker’s research has received support from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others. She teaches courses on African American women’s history, twentieth century U.S. history, race and racism, capitalism, and consumer culture. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.
While in residence as a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the Hutchins Center during the 2019-2020 academic year, Parker will be working on her second book, Beyond Loving: Sex, Love, and Marriage in the Black Freedom Movement. Beyond Loving examines intraracial love, sex, and marriage among African American activists in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. It reveals that, because gender and Jim Crow were intricately intertwined in deeply pathological ways, black romantic relationships became sites for confronting racism and gender and sexual inequalities and influenced the emergence of other twentieth-century freedom struggles.