MacArthur Fellow, legal scholar, and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed ’81 discusses the paradox of America’s historic commitment to freedom and its real history of slavery and racism with Associate Professor of History Julia Rabig.


Annette Gordon-Reed

Annette Gordon-Reed ’81

Annette Gordon-Reed ’81 is a legal scholar and historian whose 2008 investigation of slavery in the American colonial period and the early American republic, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in history. In 2010, she was awarded the MacArthur “genius” Fellowship for her scholarship on Thomas Jefferson. In July 2020, she was named the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, its highest faculty honor. A descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas in the 1850s, Gordon-Reed interweaves American history with memoir in her searing chronicle, On Juneteenth. Reed served on Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees from 2010–2018.

Julia Rabig

Julia Rabig

Julia Rabig earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies at the University of Rochester. She has also taught in the African American Studies Program at Boston University and in the Black Studies Department at Amherst College. "When and why do social movements coalesce to produce dramatic change? How are social movements institutionalized and what is gained and lost in that process? What happens in their aftermath? These are questions that animate my scholarship and teaching. My research encompasses African American history, urban and gender studies, and globalization."​





Annette Gordon-Reed ’81

Historian Annette Gordon-Reed '81 is 2021 Commencement Speaker


  • “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Race on Trial in American History

  • Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy

  • On Juneteenth

Annette Gordon-Reed’s Book Tour

On Juneteenth, Liveright, 2021
All times EST unless otherwise indicated:

  • April 10: San Antonio Book Festival, 3:30-4:15 p.m. CST (4:30-5:15 p.m. EST)
  • May 10: Philadelphia Free Library at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 18: New York State Archives at 7:00 p.m.
  • May 20: New York Historical Society at 6:00 p.m.
  • May 26: Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. at 6:00 p.m.
  • June 1: Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: National Archives in College Park, MD at 7:00 p.m.
  • June 3: Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH at 7:00 p.m.
  • June 9: Commonwealth Club at 1:00 p.m. (location TBD)
  • June 14: Seattle Town Hall/Northwest African American Museum at 10:30 p.m. 
  • June 15: Dallas Museum of Art/World Affairs Council at 8:00 p.m.
  • June 17: Boston Athenaeum at 6:00 p.m.
  • June 18: Goldman Sachs event at 10:00 a.m. (location TBD)
  • June 18: Washington Post Live at 12:00 p.m.
  • June 18: Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Office of Equity and Inclusion at 7:00 p.m. 
  • Evening event is related to the city-wide Juneteenth celebration
  • June 19: Detroit Public Library (with Source Booksellers) at 1:00 p.m


The Problem of Police Powers for People Living While Black
The New York Review, June 2020

Message for the world: The idea of hope in the wake of the global protests against racism 
TLS, June 2020

Preparing to Move On in a Time of Losses 
Wall Street Journal, May 2020

Jefferson’s Doomed Educational Experiment: The University of Virginia was supposed to transform a slave-owning generation, but it failed
The Atlantic, December 2019


How Could a Slaveholder Write "All Men Are Created Equal"?
Amanpour and Company

Annette Gordon-Reed | Teaching Hard History: American Slavery
Part 1
Part 2  

Annette Gordon-Reed on What She Calls “The American Dilemma”
Amanpour and Company


13th: Full Feature
Netflix and YouTube

Julia Rabig


  • Devolution, Development, and Civil Society in Newark, 1960-1990

  • The Business of Black Power: Community Development, Capitalism, and Corporate Responsibility in Postwar America

  • Black Power at Work: Community Control, Affirmative Action, and the Construction Industry


“What’s the Matter with Newark?”
Shelterforce: The Original Voice of Community Development, September 2008