Dr Jenny Woodley is a Lecturer in Modern American History. Her research interests include: African American history, black culture, American Civil War memory and emancipation celebrations.
Art for Equality: The NAACP's Cultural Campaign for Civil Rights was published with the University Press of Kentucky, June 2014. This work explores an important and little-studied side to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In openly supporting African American artists, writers, and musicians in their creative endeavours, the organization aimed to change the way the public viewed the black community. By overcoming stereotypes and the belief of the majority that African Americans were physically, intellectually, and morally inferior to whites, the NAACP believed it could begin to defeat racism. This book examines the successes and failures of the NAACP's cultural campaign from 1910 to the 1960s and offers an in-depth analysis of the social and cultural climate during a time of radical change in America.
Dr Woodley is currently working on a new research project, which explores African American Emancipation Celebrations. She is interested in the ways that African Americans commemorated Emancipation and what these practices tell us about identity, issues of ‘progress' and ‘respectability', debates about self-emancipation, and the importance of history and memory in the civil rights struggle.