JUSTENE HILL EDWARDS
Justene Hill Edwards is an historian of African American history, focusing on the history of slavery and the evolution of Black economic life in America. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Her first book, Unfree Markets: The Slaves’ Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina, considers the ways in which enslaved people’s economic activities influenced the development of capitalism in South Carolina, from the colonial era to the Civil War. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2015 and she also holds an M.A. in African New World Studies from Florida International University and a B.A. in Spanish from Swarthmore College. Her next book, The Bank: African Americans Struggle for Economic Equality in Reconstruction America, chronicles the rise and fall of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company founded in 1865. She is a Class of 2022 Carnegie Fellow and will be a Mellon New Directions Fellow in 2023.