Kimberly Welch is the author of Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2018). Welch is Assistant Professor of History and Assistant Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. Her book explores the history of free and enslaved black Americans use of local courts in the Cotton South. Largely focused on unpublished and unexplored lower court records from the Natchez district of Mississippi and Louisiana between 1800 and 1860, Dr. Welch’s study highlights the many ways black Americans were able to utilize a system, which was stacked against them, for their own benefit.
Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.
Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.