LaShawn D. Harris

Position: Associate Professor
Field: 20th Century, Cultural, Labor and Working Class, Social, Urban, Women & Gender
Region: United States

Office: 160C Old Horticulture
Office Hours: Wednesday 10:00-12:00 and by appointment
Phone: (517) 884-4879

LaShawn Harris is an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University and former Managing and Book Review Editor for the Journal of African American History (JAAH). She is a historian of U. S. history with a focus on African American, Black Women’s, and urban histories. Harris’s scholarly essays have appeared in Journal of Social History, Journal of Urban History, andSOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. Her first monograph Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2016. In 2017, Sex Worker, Psychics, and Numbers Runners won the Organization of American Historians (OAH) Darlene Clark Hine award (best book in African American women’s and gender history) and the Philip Taft Labor Prize from The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA). Harris’s work has been featured in popular media outlets including TV-One, Glamour Magazine, Huffington Post, Elle, Vice, The History Channel, and Black Perspectives. In 2019, Harris was appointed to the Organization of American Historian’s Distinguished Lectureship Program. Currently, Harris is completing a monograph for Beacon Press; the project examines police violence in New York City during the 1980s. Follow her on Twitter: @madameclair08.

Selected Publications

“My Mother was My Everything’: Police Murder, Family Loss & Deferred Dreams,” Langston Hughes Review, Fall 2022

“Recovering the Lives of City Women,” Journal of African American History, Vol. 106, no 1.(Winter 2021): 109-113

“#SayHerName: Black Women, State Sanctioned Violence & Resistance,” The American Historian (Organization of American Historian (OAH) Magazine), September 2020: 30-38

“Marvel Cooke: Investigative Journalist, Communist & Black Radical Subject” Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Fall 2012): 91-126

“Running with the Reds: African American Women and the Communist Party during the Great Depression.” Journal of African American History, Vol. 94, No. 1 (Winter 2009): 21-40

“Madame Queen of Policy:  Madame Stephanie St. Clair and African American Women’s Participation in Harlem’s Informal Economy,” Black Women, Gender & Families, Vol. 2 No. 2 (Fall 2008): 53-76


  • HST 201: Historical Research & Skills
  • HST 203: United States History Since 1877
  • HST 310: African American History Before 1877
  • HST 312: Black Women’s History
  • HST 480: Black Women; Urban Black America
  • IAH 201: United States & The World
  • IAH 211C: African Diaspora / African American Experience
  • ISS 335: National Diversity / African American Experience