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Shennette Garrett-Scott

Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • U.S. South
  • African American
  • History of Women and Gender
  • Business/Capitalism
  • (979) 845-7151
  • Melbern G. Glasscock Building, 108
Professional Links
Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin 2011

Research Interests

I am committed to recovering and telling little-known stories about African American enterprise. My research focuses on late 19th- and early 20th-century race, gender, and capitalism. My first book, Banking on Freedom, is the first history of U.S. banking and finance that centers African American women. My next book project, tentatively titled Black Enterprise, reexamines the American Dream as a touchstone of national self-understanding through the experiences of enterprising men and women in the National Negro Business League. In addition to my scholarly writing, my work has also appeared in popular venues, such as Time, Vox, Financial History Magazine, and Southern Cultures magazines.

My public history work includes the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Tour, a racial reconciliation heritage tour of Holly Springs, Mississippi, which was Wells childhood home until the early 1880s. I also helped establish a state historical designation for the headquarters of the Grand Court of Calanthe of Texas in Houston, Texas, a Black women’s fraternal insurance association established in 1897.

I currently serve as the National Vice Director of the Association of Black Women Historians, the oldest professional organization dedicated to the study of Black women’s history; on the Handbook of Texas Women Executive Advisory Committee of the Texas State Historical Association; and on the board of the Labor and Working-Class History Association. I am featured in the PBS documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business. Follow me on Twitter at @EbonRebel.



 Forthcoming: Black Enterprise: How Black Capitalism Shaped America (W.W. Norton, 2023)



Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019)


  • Winner, Association of Black Women Historians 2019 Letitia Woods Brown Prize for best book in Black women’s history
  • Finalist, Hagley Museum & Library and the Business History Conference 2020 Hagley Prize for best book in business history
  • Winner, Southern Historical Association 2020 Bennett H. Wall Award for Best Book in southern business and economic history
  • Winner, Organization of American Historians 2020 Darlene Clark Hine Award for best book in African American women’s and gender history

Articles and Essays

Forthcoming: “‘All the Other Devils this Side of Hades’: Black Banks and the Mississippi Banking Law of 1914,” Business History Review

Forthcoming: “Domesticating Racial Capitalism: Freedwomen and Industrial Sewing Schools, 1862–1872,” Special Issue Invisible Labor in Carceral Spaces, International Labor and Working-Class History

With Beth Kruse, Rhondalyn Peairs, and Jodi Skipper, “Remembering Ida, Ida Remembering: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Black Political Culture in Reconstruction-Era Mississippi,” Southern Cultures 26, No. 3 (Jan., 2020): 20–41, DOI: 10.1353/scu.2020.0038

With Dominique Scott, “This Ain’t Yo’ Mama’s Revolution—Or Maybe It Is: #TakeDownTheFlag and the New Student Activism,” in Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons, eds. Stephanie Y. Evans, Andrea D. Domingue, and Tania D. Mitchell (SUNY Press, 2019)

“‘A Commercial Emancipation’ for the Negro: Financing Black Business in the 1920s,” Financial History Magazine (Summer 2019)

“‘To Do a Work that Would Be Very Far Reaching’: Minnie Geddings Cox, the Mississippi Life Insurance Company, and the Challenges of Black Women’s Business Leadership in the Early Twentieth-Century United States,” Enterprise and Society (Sept., 2016): 473–514, DOI: 10.1017/eso.2015.66

Edited with Juliet E. K. Walker, Special Issue on African Americans and Business: Race, Capitalism, and Power, Journal of African American History 101, no. 4 (Fall, 2016), DOI: 10.5323/jafriamerhist.101.4.0395

“‘The Hope of the South’: The New Century Cotton Mill of Dallas, Texas, and the Business of Race in the New South, 1902–1907,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 116, No. 2 (Oct., 2012): 138-66, DOI:

  • Winner, Texas State Historical Association 2012 H. Bailey Carroll Award for Best Article