Adriane D. Lentz-Smith

Adriane D. Lentz-Smith

Associate Professor in the Department of History

External Address: 
Dept of History, Classroom Bldg, Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 684-2837
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays 1:30 - 3 pm


My interests lie in African American history, twentieth-century United States History, and the history of the US & the World.

My 2009 book, Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I, looks at the black freedom struggle in the World War I years, with a particular focus on manhood, citizenship, and global encounters. More recently, I have been at work on a book tentatively enttitled, "Afterlives: Sagon Penn, State Violence, and the Twilight of Civil Rights." The book looks at dramatic moments of violent encounter between African Americans and the police to explore the role of violence in sustaining and opposing white supremacy in the two decades following the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

I am also interested in how African Americans engaged the world in the age of Cold War civil rights, and how their participation in the project of US state and empire set the horizons of their freedom struggles.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 2005

Selected Grants

Voting Rights in the United States awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities (Collaborator). 2017 to 2020

Challenging the Master Narrative of the Civil Rights Movement awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities (Scholar). 2017 to 2019

Lentz-Smith, A. Freedom Struggles: African Americans & World War I. Harvard University Press, 2009.

Lentz-Smith, A. “Book Review of Chad Williams. Torchbearerers of Democracy: African American Soldiers and the World War I Era.” North Carolina Historical Review, vol. 88, Oct. 2011.

Lentz-Smith, A. “Website Review of Politics of a Massacre: Discovering Wilmington 1898. Created and maintained by Eastern Carolina University.” Journal of American History, vol. 98, June 2011, pp. 309–309.

Lentz-Smith, A. “Book Review of Elizabeth Smith-Pryor. Property Rites: The Rhinelander Trial, Passing, and the Protection of White Supremacy.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 41, 2011, pp. 478–80.

Lentz-Smith, A. “Book Review of Janet Hudson. Entangled by White Supremacy: Reform in World War I-Era South Carolina.” Journal of Southern History, vol. 76, Aug. 2010, pp. 770–71.

Lentz-Smith, A. “"Charles Young," "Brownsville Riot," "W. E. B. Du Bois".” Encyclopedia of War and American Society, edited by Peter Karsten and et al, Sage Publications, 2005.

Lentz-Smith, A. “Indispensable histories.” Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol. 118, no. 2, June 2017. Scopus, doi:10.5403/oregonhistq.118.2.0264. Full Text

Lentz-Smith, A. “Passports to adventure: African Americans and the US security project.” American Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 3, Sept. 2016, pp. 537–43. Scopus, doi:10.1353/aq.2016.0049. Full Text

Lentz-Smith, A. “Reid’s Obama Blunder and What it Means.” History News Network, Jan. 2010.