8:00 PM ET

Trailblazing Women: Author Talk – Martha Jones, Ph.D.

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Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

PBS Books hosted an interview and panel discussion with author and scholar Martha Jones, Ph.D., to discuss her soon-to-be-released book: “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” Novelist Tayari Jones and others shared their perspectives as members of the panel discussion.

PBS Books was also thrilled to partner with arts and cultural organizations, including The Charles H. Wright Museum and the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle.


About the Panelists

Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. She is president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the oldest and largest association of women historians in the United States, and she sits on the executive board of the Organization of American Historians. Author of Birthright Citizens and All Bound up Together, she has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, and more. She lives in Baltimore, MD. For more, visit www.MarthaSJones.com.


New York Times best-selling author, Tayari Jones, is the author four novels, most recently An American Marriage . Published in 2018, An American Marriage is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his end of the year roundup.  The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award.  With over 500,000 copies in print domestically, it has been published in two dozen countries. For more, visit www.tayarijones.com.


Evie Shockley, Professor of English at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, is the author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa, 2011) and five collections of poetry.  The most recent, semiautomatic (Wesleyan, 2017), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize, and winner of the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, which she also won in 2012 for the new black (Wesleyan, 2011).  Her poems and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies internationally.  Shockley’s work has been supported and recognized with the Lannan Poetry Prize, the Stephen Henderson Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from Cave Canem, MacDowell, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Learn more.


PBS Books Trailblazing Women Series

This event is part of PBS Books Trailblazing Women Series. To mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, PBS launched multiplatform programming focused on “Trailblazers” in order to commemorate the fight for women’s suffrage in the US and the stories of modern women, who continue to shatter the glass ceiling and transform modern history. The Trailblazers PBS theme will be anchored by a documentary entitled “The Vote.“

To complement this project, PBS Books has developed and launched their Trailblazing Women Virtual Series, which will highlight amazing stories of American women through summer-long programming. In June, July, and August, PBS Books is offering programming on Facebook Live in collaboration with libraries across American and local PBS stations.

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