Within the broader field of African American History, my research focuses on black thought and political culture across the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which (and the reasons why) African Americans understood and positioned themselves as Americans as well as members of a global African Diaspora.
I am currently writing my first book, The Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, and the Rise of Radical Black Internationalism. This project, which draws upon a range of published and archival primary sources including newspapers, speeches, plays, diplomatic records, books, missionary reports, school documents, and correspondences, analyzes how black intellectuals conceptualized their relationship with Haiti in the decades following Emancipation. Some of this history is highlighted in my article “Black Republicans, Black Republic: African-Americans, Haiti, and the Promise of Reconstruction” which was published by Slavery & Abolition.
Beyond this book, I am also working on an article-length project on W.S.J. Challoughlczilczise, a self-styled Ethiopian Prince whose prophesies of black redemption earned him the admiration of working-class African Americans in the midwestern United States and the ire of W.E.B. Du Bois. Some of my research on black intellectual history in the interwar years appears in an article on African American women and the U.S. occupation of Haiti as well as in an interview conducted with the Haitian History Blog.