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Erica Armstrong Dunbar

  • Professor
  • History and Black American Studies
(302) 831-6406
423 Ewing Hall
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Erica Armstrong Dunbar is Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware. She has recently participated in several documentaries, including “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and “The Abolitionists,” an American Experience production on PBS. In 2011, Professor Dunbar was appointed the first director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. She has been the recipient of Ford, Mellon, and SSRC fellowships and most recently has been named an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Dunbar’s newest book project is titled, Never Caught: Ona Judge Staines, The President’s Runaway Slave Woman.



  • A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City (Yale University Press, 2008).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • [“]I knew that if I went back to Virginia, I should never get my liberty.” Ona Judge Staines: The President’s Runaway Slave." Women in Early America. Ed. Tom Foster. New York: NYU Press, 2015.
  • "Writing for True Womanhood: African-American Women's Writings and the Antislavery Struggle." Women's Rights and Transatlantic Antislavery in the Era of Emancipation. Ed. by Kathryn Kish Sklar and James B Stewart. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
  • "A Mental and Moral Feast: Reading, Writing, and Sentimentality in Black Philadelphia." Journal of Women's History Volume 16, Number 1, Spring 2004.

Links to Publications

  • A Fragile Freedom

Department of History • 236 John Munroe Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-2371 • Fax: 302-831-1538

Map background Ratzer, Bernard "Province of New Jersey" (map) courtesy Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark Delaware.