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McNair Scholar 2014Amber Z. Jones

Amber Z. Jones is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, majoring in African-American & African Studies with a minor in Political Science. Her research interests include 20th-century African-American history and public history, focusing on intersections of race, class, and gender. Ms. Jones intends to earn her Ph.D. in History, African-American Studies, or American Studies.

Amber Z. Jones photo
My dream is to earn my Ph.D. and become a local historian and educator in urban communities. I want to equip the next generation with crucial narratives of their pasts in hopes of anchoring their future goals.

Research project

W. Gertrude Brown: A Case of Black Women’s Activism in Minnesota, 1920-1940

Abstract: This study is conceived as a history of W. Gertrude Brown of the Phyllis Wheatley House in Minneapolis during the early 20th century. By identifying Brown as a change agent in Minnesota, this study will uncover key insights on the activities of Black women’s activism. This work is accomplished through extensive literature review and archival research with a critical lens for Black feminist historiography and Black public sphere theory. This research argues that Brown cemented the House as a crucial institution in Minnesota’s Black community through straddling the line both inside and outside the Black community, particularly through political, interracial and international efforts. This research is the genesis of a larger study of Black women’s activism in Minnesota during the early 20th century and its essential contributions to Minnesota’s progressive politics. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Yuichiro Onishi is Associate Professor of African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Dr. Onishi received his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include local history of Minnesota’s communities of color, multiracial history, Japanese involvement in the Black freedom struggle, Black radicalism and internationalism, and transnational American studies. He is the author of Transpacific Antiracism: Twentieth-Century Afro-Asian Solidarity in Black America, Japan, and Okinawa (NYU Press, 2013) and his work has been published in multiple journals.