William Sturkey

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Sturkey_William_smallAssistant Professor

552 Hamilton Hall
CB# 3195
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
919.962.1109 (Phone)



BA The Ohio State University, 2005
MA University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
PhD The Ohio State University, 2012

Research Interests

William Sturkey is an historian of Modern American, African American, and Southern History with a particular research focus on race in the American South, working-class African American communities, and the Civil Rights Movement. His first book, scheduled for publication in February of 2015, is an edited collection of the newspapers, essays, and poems produced by young black Freedom School students during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. His second book, currently in progress, examines the impact of modernization on Southern Jim Crow and explores the organic origins of the Civil Rights Movement. Sturkey’s next book project will tentatively examine working-class African American life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the decades before World War II.

Some Notable Publications

  • Co-Editor, Just Give Us a Light: The Freedom School Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, Forthcoming in February, 2015)
  • “‘Crafts of Freedom:’ The Poor People’s Corporation and Working-Class African American Women’s Activism for Black Power,” The Journal of Mississippi History, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1 (Spring 2012): 25–60
  • “‘I Want to Become Part of History:’ Freedom Summer, Freedom Schools, and the Freedom News,” The Journal of African American History, Vol. 95, No. 3 & 4 (Summer/Fall 2010): 348–368, Special Issue on “Black Print Culture”
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