Doctoral Student Explores Criminal Trials of Black Women During the Civil War

Richeson_Tamika[2]Tamika Richeson, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Virginia, has received a Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation that will help fund her research on Black women who were jailed during the Civil War. Her dissertation, entitled, “Wild Colored Woman: A Legal and Cultural Examination of Black Female Criminality During the Civil War,” examines the experiences of enslaved and free Black women in Washington, D.C., who were defendants in the criminal courts.

Richeson’s research focuses on records in the National Archives showing more than 500 arrests of Black women in Washington in the years 1861 and 1862. Richeson, who is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, said her goal is to “learn more about the extent of their law-breaking and how it affected local and national perceptions of Black women at a time when many enslaved women were becoming free.”

One case uncovered in Richeson’s research involves a slave named Agnes who killed her master with an axe after he repeatedly raped and beat her. She was convicted and executed.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. I am interested in this research. I wonder if the rates and convictions are commensurate with the current arrest and convictions rates. FYI, the US incarcerates more of its population than any other country in the world. African American women are the fastest growing demographic in this mass incarceration scheme.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs