Heather Andrea Williams received undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. She is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches and writes about African Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with emphasis in the American South. Her first book, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom (UNC Press, 2005), received several book awards, including the Lillian Smith Book Prize. In her second book, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery (UNC Press, 2012), Williams takes readers back to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when people were sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children, and she explores African American’s efforts to reunify their families. The book was favorably reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. With the support of a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, Williams is currently working on Jamaican Journeys, a project that examines the life experiences of Jamaican immigrants to the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. She is also researching a book about violence on antebellum plantations.
Self-Taught Help Me to Find My People
Sponsored by the Department of African American Studies