Tera Hunter earns awards for scholarship on slave marriage

By Denise Valenti

Tera Hunter

Tera Hunter. Photo courtesy of the Department of African American Studies.

Tera Hunter, the Edwards Professor of American History and a professor of history and African American studies, received three prizes for her 2017 book, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century.

The Organization of American Historians awarded her the Mary Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History, and the American Historical Association gave her two awards, the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize (for women’s history and/or feminist theory) and the Littleton-Griswold Prize (in U.S. law and society).

Hunter researched court records, legal documents and personal diaries to illustrate the constraints that slavery placed on intimate relationships. Her own great-great-grandparents, Ellen and Moses Hunter, were enslaved, freed and then married during Reconstruction.