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Wilma King

Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor
Ph.D., Indiana University
area: African American history
office: 203 Read Hall
phone: 573-882-2481
email: kingw@missouri.edu

B.A Jackson State University
M.A. Indiana University
Ph.D. Indiana University

When many people think of blacks in early America, they think in terms of slavery, but Wilma King has helped to shed more light on an often understudied topic, the experiences of free African American women before the general emancipation in 1865. "In many instances, free black women have not been included to any great extent in general histories of African Americans, but my research will help to fill that void," said King.

That is just one of the fresh perspectives Professor King has explored in her work on African American history. She has also written about the experiences of women and children during slavery, and the high tide of abolitionism. Her book Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth Century America received the 1997 Outstanding Book Award from the National College of Black Political Scientists. The recently published African American Childhoods in Historical Perspective examines the lives of black boys and girls beginning with the African background through the modern Civil Rights Movement.

King, who is concerned about producing a body of work focusing on African American children, is working on a second edition of Stolen Childhood that will include a chapter on children in the transatlantic slave trade along with data about enslaved children in the North and those owned by African Americans or Native Americans.

In keeping with her interest to reach a wide readership, King has written two books for young readers.

Dr. King, a distinguished professor, received the B.A. in U.S. History from Jackson State University and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Recent U.S. History at Indiana University. She is the recipient of the first Arvarh E. Strickland chair in Black History and Culture, and arrived at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999.

The Strickland endowed professorship was established after the retirement of Arvarh Strickland, the first African-American hired as a full-time faculty member at MU. Strickland taught history from 1969 until 1995. The professorship was funded from campus resources and state matching funds from the Missouri Endowed Chair and Professorship Program.

Professor King's books include The Essence of Liberty: Free Black Women During the Slave Era (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2006); We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible: A Reader in Black Women's History, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, Wilma King, and Linda Reed (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, 1995); Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America; A Northern Woman in the Plantation South: Letters of Tryphena Blanche Holder Fox 1856-1876, ed. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993); Children of the Emancipation, (Carolrhoda Press, 2000); and Toward the Promised Land: From Uncle Tom's Cabin to the Onset of the Civil War, 1851-1861, (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995).

Professor King's regularly scheduled courses include: History 1100 - Survey of American History to 1865; History 4972 – U.S. History from 1800-1860; and History 2410 – African American Women in U.S. History.

 

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Pres. Forsee and Prof. King
UM President Forsee and Professor King, the 2008 Curators’ Award for Scholarly Excellence

Wilma King
Professor King

Essence of Liberty
The Essence of Liberty: Free Black Women During the Slave Era

African American Childhoods in Historical Perspective
African American Childhoods in Historical Perspective

A Northern Woman in the Plantation South
A Northern Woman in the Plantation South

Stolen Childhood
Stolen Childhood

We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible
We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible

Toward the Promised Land
Toward the Promised Land

Children of the Emancipation
Children of the Emancipation