Professor Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, and Professor of History and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.
Professor Jones is the author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020), selected as one of Time’s 100 must-read books for 2020. Her 2018 book, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), was winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award (best book in civil rights history), the American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Prize (best book in American legal history), the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award (best book in Anglo-American legal history) and the Baltimore City Historical Society Scholars honor for 2020. Professor Jones is also author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press (2015), together with many articles and essay.
In 2017, as a Bicentennial Professor at the University of Michigan, she curated Stumbling Blocks, a series of pop-up art installations that explored difficult moments across the university’s history.