About the Author

Dr. Leslie Alexander is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University, where she teaches early African American, African Diaspora, and U.S. history. Her teaching and research interests focus on slavery, Black political and intellectual thought, and resistance movements. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, and is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship. Her most recent book, Fear of a Black Republic: Haiti and the Birth of Black Internationalism in the United States, (University of Illinois Press, 2022) examines how Haiti's rise as the first Black sovereign nation in the western hemisphere inspired Black political activism in the United States during the nineteenth century, especially in the realm of foreign policy. It also charts the long history of U.S. foreign policy toward Haiti, from 1804 to the present. Her first book, African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 (University of Illinois Press, 2008), explores Black culture, identity, and political activism during the nineteenth century. She is also the co-editor of three volumes: Ideas in Unexpected Places: Reimagining Black Intellectual History, The Encyclopedia of African American History, and We Shall Independent Be: African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States. Most recently, she co-authored a chapter in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.

Read full bio