Michigan State University Historian Wins Prestigious Book Award

LaShawn Harris, an associate professor of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing, received the 2017 Philip Taft Prize from the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  The award, which has been given out 39 times, honors “books relating to the history of American labor, including the history of workers, their institutions, workplaces and broad historical trends that have molded working-class life.”

Dr. Harris was honored for her book Sex Workers, Psychics, and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy (University of Illinois Press, 2016). The book highlights the labor in the informal and irregular urban economy, focusing on the experiences of poor, working-class women.

Earlier this year, Dr. Harris won the Darlene Clark Hine Book Prize, for the best book in African American women’s and gender history for the same volume. That award was given by the Organization of American Historians. Dr. Harris holds a Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C.


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