Beverly Tomek

Beverly Tomek

Beverly Tomek, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for University College
Associate Professor of History
Phone: (361) 570-4145


Beverly C. Tomek specializes in U.S. social history, especially civil rights from the colonial era to the present. Her courses include The Long Civil Rights Movement, The American Revolution, The Civil War and Reconstruction, and the U.S. History survey courses. Her book Colonization and its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania (NYU Press: 2011, reprint 2012) examines the role of African colonization in the American antislavery movement. She is co-editor of the Pennsylvania Historical Association's Study Series and list editor for H-Net's American Studies.

Selected Publications:


  • Slavery and Abolition in Pennsylvania, under contract with the Pennsylvania Historical Association History Series published by Temple University Press, forthcoming 2017
  • Reconsiderations and Redirections in the Study of African Colonization, under contract with the University Press of Florida, 2016
  • Pennsylvania Hall (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2013)
  • Colonization and its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania, (New York University Press, 2011. (Paperback edition, 2012.)

Journal Articles:

  • "The Mythology of Post-Racial America: On the Shadowy Color Line in the Twenty-First Century," Race in America: How a Pseudo-Scientific Concept Shaped Human Interaction, edited by Patricia Reid-Merritt, Praeger, 2016 (with Justin Bell).
  • "Hanoi Jane' in American Myth and Memory," The Vietnam War in Popular Culture, edited by Ron Milan, ABC-CLIO, forthcoming December 2016
  • "The Economization of Freedom: Abolitionists Versus Merchants in the Culture War that Destroyed Pennsylvania Hall," Canadian Review of American Studies, forthcoming
  • "A Stalking Horse for the Civil Rights Movement": Head Start and the Legacy of the Freedom Schools The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of Arts & Letters in the South (52)1 fall 2014
  • “The Communist International and the Dilemma of the American ‘Negro Problem’: The Limitations of the Black Belt Self-Determination Thesis” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society December 2012.
  • “Seeking ‘an immutable pledge from the slave holding states’: The Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Black Resettlement,” Pennsylvania History, Winter 2008.
  • “'From motives of generosity, as well as self-preservation’: Thomas Branagan, Colonization, and the Gradual Emancipation Movement,” American Nineteenth Century History, June 2005.

Edited Works:

  • Encyclopedia of Free Blacks and People of Color in the Americas: The African American Heritage of Freedom. (Facts on File, 2011). Associate Editor.
  • International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to Present (Wiley- Blackwell, 2009). Associate Editor.
  • Encyclopedia of American Social Movements (M.E. Sharpe Inc., 2004). Section Editor, Antebellum section.

Other Publications and Presentations:

  • “African Colonization, Manifest Destiny & Indian Removal,” Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. (Wiley-Blackwell).
  • “The National Negro Convention Movement,” The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Second Edition (Cengage).
  • “‘By Aiming for the Children’: Head Start’s Centrality to Johnson’s War on Racism and Poverty,” East Texas Historical Association, Fall 2012.
  • “The Wedding of the Century: Theodore Dwight Weld and Angelina Grimke’s Unconventional Union,” Pennsylvania Historical Association, Fall 2012.
  • “To Preserve the Integrity of the Union: The 1838 Anti-Abolition Mobbing of Pennsylvania Hall,” Canadian Association of American Studies, Fall 2012.
  • “Not Quite Abolition but Antislavery Nonetheless: The Pennsylvania Colonization Society’s Humanitarian Rebellion” Society of Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), Summer 2012.
  • “African American Experiences in 19th Century Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Historical Association, October 2011. Chair and commenter.
  • “For their Own Ends: African American Appropriations of Colonization from 1790- 1900,” Organization of American Historians, March 2011. Commenter.
  • “Pennsylvania Hall: Using a ‘Legal Lynching’ to Shape Historical Memory,” British and American Nineteenth Century History Conference, October 2010.
  • “Education, Civil Rights, and the War on Poverty: The Connection between Freedom Schools and Head Start,” American Historical Association, January 2010.
  • “Negotiating the Border between Abolition and Colonization: The Pennsylvania Colonization Society’s Efforts to Keep African Colonization an Antislavery Enterprise,” Organization of American Historians, 2008.
  • “Transatlantic Resettlement and the Black Quest for Dignity and Independence,” Western Conference of British Studies, 2008.
  • “Seeking ‘an immutable pledge from the slave holding states’: The Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Black Resettlement,” Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2006.
  • “‘A Certain Simple Grandeur . . . Which Awakens the Benevolent Heart’: The Effective Marketing of the American Colonization Society in the Formation of the Pennsylvania Auxiliary Chapter,” Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2003.
  • “British Philanthropists and Black Abolitionists: Using Christianity, Commerce, and Colonization to Redeem a Continent,” Western Conference of British Studies, 2002.

Book Reviews:

  • Richard Newman and James Mueller, editors, Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia: Emancipation and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice in the City of Brotherly Love (Forthcoming, Pennsylvania History A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies).
  • “Negotiating the Political and Social Boundaries of Slavery in the Antebellum U.S.’” a review of Paul Finkleman and Donald R. Kennon, editors, In the Shadow of Freedom: The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011) and Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor, editors, Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery by Henry Goings (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2012) for H-Civil War (September 2012).
  • Margot Minardi, Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts. American Nineteenth Century History, V13, N2 (September 2012).
  • Carol Faulkner, Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth- Century America. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, V136, N1 (January 2012).
  • Jane E. Calvert, Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson. Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, V 78, N2 (Spring 2011).
  • Gregory M. Pfitzer, Popular History and the Literary Marketplace, 1840-1920. American Book Review. V 30, N 6 (September/October 2009).
  • Joseph Gerteis, Class and the Color Line: Interracial Class Coalition in the Knights of Labor and the Populist Movement. Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society. V 12 I 2, p. 321-25 (May 2009).
  • Edlie L. Wong, Neither Fugitive nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel.<\i> H-Net, H-South.