David W. Blight is Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He previously taught at North Central College in Illinois, at Harvard University, and at Amherst College.
In October of 2018, Simon and Schuster published his new biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which has won over seven book awards including the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, the Bancroft Prize for History, and the Francis Parkman Prize.
Blight is also the author of “Frederick Douglass's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee” (1989); “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” (2001), which garnered eight book awards including the Bancroft Prize, the Merle Curti Award, the Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize; A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of “Emancipation” (2008), which won the Connecticut book award for best book in non-fiction; and “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era” (2011), which won the Aniston-Wolf Prize in non-fiction for best book on race and racism. He has edited some six books, including editions of Frederick Douglass's Narrative and “My Bondage and My Freedom”; W. E. B. Du Bois's “The Souls of Black Folk”; and Robert Penn Warren's “Who Speaks for the Negro”.
Blight is featured in many documentary films on American history on PBS, the BBC, and other networks. He wrote one of the chapters for the book, To Dream A World Anew: A History of the African American People, a companion volume for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He writes frequently for the popular press, including the Atlantic, the New York Times, and many other journals. Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. His lecture course on the Civil War and Reconstruction Era at Yale can be found online.
Blight has always been a teacher first. At the beginning of his career, he spent seven years as a high school history teacher in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. He was an undergraduate at Michigan State University and did his Ph. D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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