(Home)making: Black Women and the Transformation of Industrial Virginia


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




While the American South’s industrial past has been obscured by agriculture-focused historical narratives and disappearing industrial infrastructure, historic Black women in the iron plantation system have been rendered dually invisible as industrial workers and Black women. In an effort to recenter their unique experiences and selves in time and place, “(Home)making” explores the question: how did enslaved women leverage available social and economic connections to carve out space within the visible and invisible structures of industrial slavery? This research’s focus on the community living at Buffalo Forge in Glasgow, VA, permits an intimate, integrative, and holistic examination of Black women's extraordinary efforts to transform space at home and transform home to change Virginia.