BA Westfield State University, 2007
MA University of Connecticut, 2009
PhD The Pennsylvania State University, 2015
Antwain K. Hunter is a historian of slavery and freedom in North America, with a current focus on North Carolina. He is finishing a book—tentatively titled A Precarious Balance: Firearms, Race, and Community in North Carolina, 1729-1865—on the legal and community dynamics of free and enslaved black North Carolinians’ firearm use in the colonial and antebellum eras. The project frames firearm use as a multifaceted tool which black people were able to use in a variety of beneficial ways, ranging from subsistence, to defense, to rebellion. Further, the General Assembly, county court officials, and individual enslavers tried to use black people’s armed labor for their own benefit while also trying to protect themselves and their property from any potential problems. This historical examination of race, firearms, and the law offers a compelling look at the American past and better contextualizes the present. Hunter is also in the very early stages of another book project which will explore black North Carolinians’ engagement with vice, as understood by antebellum Americans. He is interested in how gambling, alcohol, and sex work fueled an interracial economy of both pleasure and profits for black North Carolinians, who were the producers, purveyors, and consumers in these areas.
Some Notable Publications
“‘Patriots,’ ‘Cowards,’ and ‘Men Disloyal at Heart:’ Labor and Politics at the Springfield Armory, 1861-1865”, Journal of Military History, vol. 84, No. 1 (JAN 2020), pp. 51-81.
“‘In the Exercise of a Sound Discretion, Who, of This Class of Persons, Shall Have a Right to the License…’: Family, Race, and Firearms in Antebellum North Carolina”, Journal of Family History, vol. 44, no. 4 (JUL 2019, [digital], OCT 2019 [print]), pp. 392-412.
“‘A nuisance requiring correction’: Firearm Laws, Black Mobility, and White Property in Antebellum Eastern North Carolina”, North Carolina Historical Review, vol. 93, no. 4 (OCT 2016), pp. 386-404.
Courses Taught (as schedule allows)
For current information about course offerings, click here.
HIST 376: History of African Americans to 1863
HIST 398: on North American Slavery