PHILADELPHIA â€“ Serena Mayeri, professor of law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, has won the Organization of American Historians 2012 Darlene Clark Hine Award for her book Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2011). The award is given annually for the best book in African-American womenâ€™s and gender history.
The OAH selection committee hailed the book as â€śa brilliant excavation of the role that analogies between sexual and racial discrimination have played in legal battles over womenâ€™s rights. Mayeri recasts the story of 1970s legal feminism by uncovering a largely forgotten history of black and white womenâ€™s activism, which pursued much more expansive conceptions of equality than those that ultimately became law. In doing so, Mayeri also moves the field of African-American womenâ€™s history forward by demonstrating how black womenâ€™s activism and insights from their work in civil rights shaped womenâ€™s rights struggles.â€ť
Reasoning from Race was the OAH selection committeeâ€™s unanimous choice for the award this year.
A Penn Law video of Mayeri discussing her book is available at http://www.law.upenn.edu/blogs/news/archives/2011/07/mayeri_reasoning_from_race.html.
OAH is the largest society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past. Members in the United States and abroad include college and university professors, students and other public historians employed in government and the private sector.