Stephen Middleton

Stephen Middleton

Stephen Middleton

Professor Emeritus


Stephen Middleton received his B.A. degree from Morris College, the M.A. degree from The Ohio State University, and the Ph.D. degree from Miami University (Ohio). He completed the first-year curriculum in law at New York University School of Law. His research interest is race and the legal system. His new book is entitled, The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Ohio, 1787-1860 (2005) and he is currently working on Robert Heberton Terrell, an African American judge in Washington, D.C. He frequently gives talks to schools and community groups. He has presented talks at Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland and Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina; the Environmental Protection Office (EPA) in RTP North Carolina; the Government Accounting Office (GAO) in Cincinnati OH; civic clubs such as the Lions and Rotary, and national organizations including the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, African American Heritage Preservation Foundation, National Council of Negro Women (Raleigh Section), Cross High School Alumni Class of 1972, and numerous other associations. He has also conducted teacher-training workshops for the National Humanities Center and the Bill of Rights Institute.


  • Ph.D., Miami University (History), 1987.
  • New York University School of Law (First Year Curriculum) (1999-2000)
  • M.A.The Ohio State University, 1977 (Black Studies, with a concentration in African American History).
  • B.A.Cum Laude, Morris College, 1976 (History).

Academic Career

  • Professor of History and Director of African American Studies, Mississippi State University, 2007-.
  • Professor of History, North Carolina State, 1989-2007.
  • Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, 1985-1989.
  • Assistant Professor, Wilberforce University, 1977-78, 1981-1985.
  • Adjunct Professor, Sinclair Community College, 1980-1981.
  • GED Instructor, AVCO Dayton Job Corps, 1979-1981.

Research Interests

Judge Robert Herberton Terrell: The Fight to Win the Prize (Born into slavery in Virginia in 1857, Robert Terrell went on to be a valedictorian graduate of Harvard University and earned law degrees from Howard University Law School. He was an educator at the black M Street High School in the District of Columbia and municipal judge in the capital).



  • The Construction of Whiteness. An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Race Formation and the Meaning of White Identity, edited by Stephen Middleton, David R. Roediger, and Donald M. Shaffer, University Press of Mississippi, 2015.
  • The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Ohio, 1787-1860, Ohio University Press, 2005 
  • Black Congressmen During Reconstruction: A Documentary Sourcebook, Greenwood Press, 2002. 
  • The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History, Greenwood Press, 1993 
  • Ohio and the Antislavery Activities of Attorney Slamon Portland Chase, 1830-1849. Garland Press, 1990 


  • Freedom's Early Ring: Ending Slavery in the Illinois Country, 1787-1818,  Illinois History Teacher. 5:1 (1998) 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.  Historic World Leaders. Detroit:Gale Research, 1994 Vol. 3, 425-429. 
  • "Salmon Portland Chase: Reluctant Antislavery Reformer." Northern Kentucky Law Review, 1993. 
  • "Law and Ideology in Ohio and Kentucky: The Kidnapping of Jerry Phinney" Filson Club Quarterly, (July 1993). 
  • "Cincinnati and the fight for the law of Freedom in Ohio, 1830-1856" Locus: A Historical Journal of Regional Perspectives (Fall 1991). 
  • "We Must Not Fail: Horace Sudduth; Queen City Entrepreneur" Queen City Heritage (Summer 1991). 
  • "The Quest for Freedom in the Old Northwest (a review essay.)" The Old Northwest: A Journal of Regional Life and Letters V (Spring/Summer, 1990). 
  • "The Fugitive Slave Issue in Southwest Ohio: Unreported Cases" The Old Northwest: A Journal of Regional Life and Letters (Winter 1988-89). 
  • "Antislavery Litigation in Ohio: The Chase-Trowbridge Letters" Mid-America (October 1988). 
  • "The Fugitive Slave Crisis in Cincinnati: Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees, 1850-1860" Journal of Negro History 72: (Winter/Spring 1987). 
  • "Sectionalism in an African Nation: Origins and Outcomes of the Nigerian Civil War" Wilberforce University Quarterly (October 1984) 
  • "The Mobilization of the Black Electorate in South Carolina During the Elections of 1867 and 1968" Ibura

Selected Book Reviews

  • Gary B. Nash, The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.) The Historian (Vol 70, No. 2, 2008)
  • The Rescue of Joshua Glover: A Fugitive Slave Law, the Constitution, and the Coming of the Civil War. By H. Robert Baker. (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2006.) Journal of the Early Republic, (Vol. 28, Spring 2008)
  • Silvana R. Siddali, From Property to Person: Slavery and the Confiscation Acts, 1861 1862 Journal of Illinois History 8: (Summer 2005). 
  • Christopher Waldrep, The Many Faces of Judge Lynch: Extralegal Violence and Punishment in America, Journal of Illinois History 6(Summer 2003). (Winter/Spring 1987). 
  • Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone. Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White North Carolina, Historical Review 75: (Apil 2002). 
  • Mary Kimbrough and Margaret W. Dagen. Victory Without Violence: The First Ten Years of the St. Louis Committee of Racial Equality, (CORE), 1947-1957, Journal of Illinois History 4: (Autumn 2001). 
  • LaWanda Cox, Lincoln and Black Freedom: A Study in Presidential Leadership and Daniel McInerney, The Fortunate Heirs of Freedom: Abolition and Republican Thought. Maryland Historical Magazine. (Vol. 90, Fall 1995). 
  • Freddie L. Parker, Running for Freedom: Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1775-1840 North Carolina Historical Review 72: (January 1995). 
  • John Catanzariti, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Vol. 25, 1 January to 10 May 1793, North Carolina Historical Review 70: (October 1993). 
  • T. O. Madden, Jr., We Were Always Free: The Story of the Maddens of Virginia, A Free Negro Family, Maryland Historical Magazine 88: (Summer 1993). 
  • Thomas P. Slaughter, Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North, Maryland Historical Magazine 87: (Summer 1992). 
  • John K. Alexander, The Selling of the Constitutional Convention: A History of News Coverage, Journal of Southern History 58: (1992). 
  • Andrew C. Cayton, The Frontier Republic: Ideology and Politics in the Ohio Country, 1780-1825, Maryland Historical Magazine 87: (Summer 1991). 
  • Robert P. Sutton, Revolution to Secession: Constitution Making in the Old Dominion, Journal of Southern History 57: (August 1991). 
  • Don E. Fehrenbacher, Constitutions and Constitutionalism in the Slave-holding South of Illinois, Historical Journal 84: (Spring 1991). 
  • James Schick, E Pluribus Unum, or From Many, One: A Computer Simulation of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Social Science Computer Review 9: (Spring 1991). 
  • Victor B. Howard, Religion and the Radical Republican Movement, 1860-1870, Ohio History 100: (Summer-Autumn 1991). 
  • Lorenzo J. Greene, Working With Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, a Diary, 1928-1930Maryland Historical Magazine 85: (Summer 1990). 
  • Frye Gaillard, The Dream Long Deferred, Locus 2: (Fall 1989). 
  • David Warren Bowen, Andrew Johnson and the NegroThe Register of The Kentucky Historical Society 87: (Autumn 1989). 
  • Stephen Whitfield, A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett TillJournal of Mississippi History 51: (August 1989). 

Professional and Scholarly Service

  • "American Slavery and the Language of Structural and Cultural Violence," National Association of African American Studies, Baton Rouge, LA, February 11-16, 2008.
  • "American Slavery and the Language of Structural and Cultural Violence," Gerst Program in Political and Economic Studies, 8th-Annual Conference, "We being a little darker than they:" Humanity, Slavery, and the Law, Duke University, Durham, NC, September 20-21, 2007.
  • "American Slavery and the Language of Oppression," The Seventh International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities, and Nations, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 3-6, 2007
  • Facilitator of a Talking Circle on "The Politics of Diversity," The Seventh International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities, and Nations, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 3-6, 2007
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Diversity, 2007-2008
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, January 25, 2007
  • Public Forum, Separation of Church and State Then and Now. Panel Discussion Organized by the Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship of Raleigh and co-sponsored by Pullen Memorial Baptist Church s Justice and Mission Group and the North Raleigh United Church s Faith-in-Action Committee, April 27, 2006 
  • Presenter, Citizenship and Character: Understanding America's Civic Values.  An Educational Program for Raleigh Area Social Studies Teachers, Bill of Rights Institute, October 31, 2006 
  • Panelist, North Carolina Central University Forum, Fact and Fiction: Examining the Declaration of Independence. October 17, 2002 
  • Workshop Facilitator, The Triumph of Nationalism: A House Dividing. National Humanities Center and Wake County Public Schools. Summer Seminar for High School Teachers. June 24 28, 2002 
  • Reviewer, From these Beginnings, Sixth Edition, Longman Publishers, 2002 
  • Reviewer, e-Book Research Project,  Greenleaf Associates, 2002 
  • Reviewer, Contending Voices: Biographical Explorations of the American Past. Houghton Mifflin, 2000 
  • Reviewer, Historical Case Studies: The Civil Rights Movement, Globe Fearon Press, 1995 
  • Reviewer, The Salmon P. Chase Papers: Selective Printed Edition,  NEH Grant Proposal, 1995 
  • Consultant, Voices in African-American History. 6 Volumes. Cleveland, Ohio: Modern Curriculum Press, 1993 
  • Consultant, The African American Experience: A History. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Globe Book Company, 1992 
  • Reviewer, American Journey: The Quest for Liberty. 2 Volumes. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1992 

Media Productions and Programs

  • Coming Alive: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America (video.) University of Cincinnati, unpublished. Taft University Center Art Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1989 
  • Coming Alive: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America. Southern Conference on Afro-American Studies, Baton Rouge, LA, February 22, 1989 
  • Equality and the Law, Straight Talk Live, Charles Houston, WIZF Radio, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 30, 1989 
  • Black Cincinnati, New Ventures, Warner Cable TV, December, 1988 

Selected Lectures, Panels, and Community Service

  • Panel Moderator, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History Orlando, Florida, October 2-6, 2002 
  • The Politics of Compromise: Reversing the Color Line of Ohio, 1830-1849, British Legal History Conference, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, July 4-7, 2001 
  • Social Engineering in the USA: The Codification of the Black Laws of Ohio, 1802-1839. Annual Conference of the British Association of American Studies, hosted by Keele University, School of American Studies, April 6-9, 2001 
  • Black Congressmen During Reconstruction: A Miracle at the Capitol, 1868-1901, State Capitol, Raleigh, NC, February 22, 2001 
  • The Black Laws: Reversing the Color Line in Ohio, 1830-1848, Ohio Valley History Conference, Clarksville, Tennessee, October 17, 1997 
  • The Black Laws: Enforcing the Color Line in Ohio, 1804-1830, Southwest Historical Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 29, 1997 
  • Freedom's Early Ring: The Abolition of Slavery in the Illinois Country, Illinois History Symposium, December 1-3, 1995 
  • The Codification of the Black Laws of Ohio, Cambridge University and Keele University, England, October 13-16, 1995 
  • Republicanism, Racism, and Constitutionalism in Ohio, 1798-1802, Southwest Historical Association/Social Science Association, Dallas, Texas, March 22-24, 1995 
  • Republican Ideology and Constitution-Making in Ohio, 1798-1802, Ohio Academy of History, April 21-22, 1995, Westerville, Ohio 
  • Commentator, A Symposium on Salmon P. Chase and the Chase Court: Perspectives in Law and History, on the occasion of the Centennial anniversary of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky, October 1, 1993 
  • The Ohio General Assembly and the Making of the Black Laws. Ford Foundation Lecture, Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, May 4, 1993 
  • Emmett Till: Historical Perspectives on the American Freedom Movement. Southeast Regional Education Center Workshop, Wilmington, NC, February 14-15, 1991 
  • Panel, Civil Rights since the Sixties, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, January 18, 1990 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Tom Kearney Show,  WPTF Radio, Raleigh, NC, January 15, 1990 
  • Facilitator, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance, St. Matthew Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC, January 14, 1990 
  • American Law and the Subordination of Black Citizens. Vance-Granville Community College, Henderson, NC, February 12, 1990 
  • Crisis and Leadership in Black America, 1865-1968. Davie Street Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC, February 25, 1990 
  • Emancipation Theory and the Thirteenth Amendment. Commemoration of the 125th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment. Raleigh, N.C. Sponsored by the Durham City Association of Educators, December 4, 1990 
  • Black Refugees to Cincinnati During the 1850s, a mini-lecture presented to the North Avondale Neighborhood Association, Cincinnati, OH, February 14, 1989 
  • Project Director, Equality and the Law Lectures: Remembering Charles Hamilton Houston, Funded in Part by the Ohio Humanities Council, the departments of Afro-American Studies, History, Political Science, and Minority Programs. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 18-May 25, 1989 
  • The Fugitive Slave Issue in Southwest Ohio (1850-1860): Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees, Ohio Academy of History, Columbus, Ohio, April 22, 1989 
  • Voting Rights in the Colonial and Early National Periods, North Carolina Museum of History, December 2, 1989 
  • Horace Sudduth: Queen City Entrepreneur and Civic Leader, presented at the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, October 6-9, 1988 
  • Cincinnati s Black Housing Problem: Public Policy and Urban Change, Chair. American Historical Association, December 29, 1988 
  • Cincinnati and the Fight for the Law of Freedom in Ohio, 1830-1856. Presented at Black Cincinnati; Journey Across Time: A Bicentennial Symposium. Omni Netherland Hotel, December 26, 1988 
  • Ohio/Kentucky and the Rendition of Fugitives: The Kidnapping of Jerry Phinney,  Presented at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Sturbridge/ Worcester, Massachusetts, July 21-23, 1988 
  • The Cincinnati Riots, July, 1836, presented at the Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, March 10-12, 1988 
  • Human Rights in Nineteenth Century America: A Legal Perspective, presented at the Government Accounting Office (GAO), Cincinnati, Ohio February 19, 1988 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Spirit of the American Revolution. Clifton Senior Multiservice Center, Cincinnati, OH, January 18, 1988 
  • Highlights from Black History; A Slide Presentation. Everett J. Welch Elementary School, Cincinnati, Oh, February 3, 1988 
  • The Fugitive Slave Issue in Cincinnati: The Case of Matilda, a Woman of Color, The Governor s Summer Institute for the Gifted and Talented, University of Cincinnati, OH, June 28, 1988 
  • Race and Slavery in the American Constitutional System. Great Rivers Girl Scout Council, Cincinnati, OH, February 15, 1987 
  • Emancipating Slaves in Ohio, presented at the Federal Executive Board of Cincinnati, February 25, 1987 
  • Cincinnati History Day Judge. Cincinnati Historical Society, March 24, 1987 
  • Remembering the Heritage of Afro-Americans. Zion United Methodist Church. Cross, SC, July 5, 1987 

Professional Development

  • Teaching United States Constitutional History in Colleges. An Invitation Conference Sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society and the University of South Carolina School of Law. University of Maryland Conference Center, College Park. March 18-21, 1999 
  • Teaching Effectiveness Workshop, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, July 16-17, 1996 
  • Evaluating College Teaching, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, March 23, 1996 
  • The Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1987 
  • Project 87: Race and Slavery in the American Constitutional System. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, July 11-15, 1983. Stanford University, Stanford, California Teaching Division of the American Historical Association. And by the Lilly Endowment and National Endowment for the Humanities, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, October 6-8, 1983

Honors & Awards

  • Golieb Fellow in Legal History, New York University School of Law, New York, 1999-2000 
  • African-Amereican Faculty and Staff Development Grant, North Carolina State University, 1996 and 1999 
  • Summer Fellowship, College of Humanities, North Carolina State University, 1995 
  • Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 1994 
  • Otto A. Rothert Award, Filson Club Historical Quarterly (Best Article), 1993 
  • NCSU Faculty Research and Professional Development Grant, 1991-1992 
  • NEH Travel to Collections Grant, 1990-1991
  • CHASS Research Fund Award, North Carolina State University, 1990-1991 
  • Ohio Humanities Council, Institutional Grant, 1989 
  • University Education Council Award, University of Cincinnati, 1987 
  • Brodie Research Award, University of Cincinnati, 1986 

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