150 Years of Progress for African American Men

This year marks the 154th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the complete emancipation of U.S. slaves. At emancipation, black men in American had little human capital or personal property, and almost all lived in the relatively poor, agrarian, former states of the Confederacy. And although their position is much improved relative to 1865, black men in America continue to experience sizable labor market and wealth disadvantages relative to their white peers. How and when did black men make economic progress in the last 154 years? What have been the obstacles to their progress along the way? And how do we explain their incomplete convergence today?

About the Speaker:

Dr. Marianne H. Wanamaker is an associate professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee and Faculty Research Fellow at NBER. For the 2017-2018 academic year, she served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers covering labor policy and serving as the chief domestic economist. At UT, she is the Kinney Family Faculty Fellow, a Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research Fellow, and the BB&T Scholar in Markets, Capitalism and Ethics in the Haslam College of Business. Her research interests include American economic history, education, demography and labor economics. Dr. Wanamaker completed her doctoral work at Northwestern University in 2009, and has been on faculty at the University of Tennessee ever since.



About the Series: 

Humanities Iowa has generously funded another series of presentations from visiting historians, professors, and lecturers. This year’s series will be tied to our current exhibit, Driven By Hope, which focuses on African American migration following the Civil War. The presentations are between February and July. Topics will focus on responses to migration – music, fashion, food, social responses, legal responses, and even some discussion on current migration and immigration issues. Be sure to join us for these free, engaging, and thought-provoking presentations!