African American History, 20th Century U.S. History, Urban American History
"As a historian specializing in the field of African American history, I have focused my research and publication on four areas of interest: (1) racial violence in Waco; (2) the development of the African American community in Houston, Texas, in the years between the two world wars; (3) the civil rights movement in Texas; and (4) the intersection between humor and protest in the African American community. In addition, for the past fourteen years I have served as co-editor of the two-volume reader, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in American History. My teaching fields are in African American history, American urban history, and late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century United States history."
"In a field like history, where academic opportunities were severely limited in the 1970s and 1980s, it was fortuitous that I was offered an interview at Baylor only weeks after I had defended my doctoral dissertation. Having been born and reared in Waco, I would never have guessed that I would one day return to my hometown to pursue my professional career; however, circumstances made that possible. What began as a one-year replacement position turned into a tenure-track slot, and in the meantime, the support for my teaching and research that I had received from my colleagues in the department and from the administration made me feel very much that you can go home again."