Yevette Richards Jordan

Yevette Richards Jordan

Yevette Richards Jordan

Associate Professor

African American history, women's history, history of lynching, labor history, Pan-Africanism

Yevette Richards is a specialist in African American history, U.S. women’s history, labor studies, and Pan-Africanism.  She has published Maida Springer, Pan-Africanist and International Labor Leader (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000) and the oral history companion book entitled, Conversations with Maida Springer: A Personal History of Labor, Race, and International Relations (2004, University of Pittsburgh Press). 

These books explore the ways in which pan-Africanism, racism, sexism and anti-Communism affected Springer’s political development, her labor activism, and her relationship with labor leaders in the AFL-CIO, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and in African unions. Springer’s life experiences and work reveal the complex nature of Black struggles for equality and justice. A strong supporter of both the AFL-CIO and the ICFTU, Springer nonetheless recognized that both organizations were fraught with racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism. She also understood that charges of Communism were often used as a way to thwart Black demands for social justice. As an African-American, she found herself in the unenviable position of promoting to Africans the ideals of American democracy from which she was excluded from fully enjoying.


Current Research

Richards's current book project analyzes racial violence in Northern Louisiana through the framework of multigenerational and closely connected Black and white family networks. 

Selected Publications


Conversations with Maida Springer: A Personal History of Labor, Race, and International Relations. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004.

Maida Springer: Pan-Africanist and International Labor Leader. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.


“Lynching of Robert Charles, 1900.” In History of American Racial Violence: An Encyclopedia of Conflicts, Riots, And Revolution and Terrible Legacy: Encyclopedia of Lynching in America, edited by Michael Pfeiffer. ABC-CLIO, 2022.

“Transnational Links and Constraints: The Work of Women of the ILO and ICFTU in Africa.” In Transnational Networks, Global Labour Standards, and Gender Equity, 1919 to Present, edited by Eileen Boris, Dorothea Hoehtker, and Susan Zimmermann, 149-175. Brill, 2018.

“Marred by Dissimulation: The AFL-CIO, the Women’s Committee, and Transnational Labor Relations.” In American Labor's Global Ambassadors: The International History of the AFL-CIO during the Cold War, edited by Robert Anthony Waters Jr. and Geert Van Goethem, 39-55. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

“The Activism of George McCray: Confluence and Conflict of Pan-Africanism and Transnational Labor Solidarity.” In Black Power Beyond Borders: The Global Dimensions of the Black Power Movement, edited by Nico Slate, 35-56. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.

“Labor’s Gendered Misstep: The Women’s Committee and African Women Workers, 1957-1968.” International Journal of African Historical Studies 44, 3 (2011-2012): 415-442.

Courses Taught

Race, Gender and Lynching

Women’s Activism: From Jim Crow to Black Power

Black Social Movements: Gendering of Violence and Activism

Women Preachers, Teachers, Activists and Captives during the Enslavement Era

Women and Work

Transnational Issues of Gender and Race

Gender and Racial Ideologies of Early Jim Crow America


Richards received an MA degree from the Department of African American Studies at Yale University and MA and PhD degrees from the Department of American Studies at Yale University.

Dissertations Supervised

Beth Garcia, "We Feel Sadly the Effects": America's Civil War, Colonization, and Liberia's Struggle to Build Up a Nation (2020)