Amy Tillerson-Brown

Professor of History; Department Head 540-887-7046
Dr. Amy Tillerson-Brown

BA, MA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; PhD, Morgan State University

Amy Tillerson-Brown is a professor of history and history department chair at Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA and teaches courses in African American, United States, Women’s and African Diaspora history.  She also directs the African American Studies and Public History programs while advising Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. 

Tillerson-Brown is completing her book manuscript, “Negotiating Intersections of Gender, Social Class, and Race:  Black Women in Prince Edward County, Virginia, Activists and Community Builders, 1920-1965.”  This project analyses the activism of Black women in Prince Edward County before and during the public school crisis that began with the 1951 R. R. Moton High School student strike in protest of inadequate educational facilities and ended with the reopening of public schools that closed from 1959-1964 to resist the desegregation mandate of the Brown decision.  Tillerson-Brown’s research examines the activism of Black PEC women who despite less than optimal economic conditions and traditional negative assumptions associated with their race and gender networked to build their communities.  Articles and book chapters related to this research are published in Virginia Women Their Lives and Times (University of Georgia Press, fall 2016), The Journal of School Choice (fall 2016), The Educational Lockout of African Americans in Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1959-1964 (University Press of America, 2010) and Emerging Voices and Paradigms:  Black Women’s Scholarship (Association of Black Women Historians, 2005).  Recently, Tillerson-Brown accepted a Senior Fellow/Strategic Consultant post at the Moton Museum in Farmville, VA. 

In 2013, Tillerson-Brown produced a documentary, Voices from Port Republic Road.  Focusing on the experiences of alumni from the Rosenwald School, this project documents the interconnectedness of school, church, and business in this mid-twentieth century rural Black community along with the challenges of public school segregation and integration.  Other research interests of Tillerson-Brown include the activism and resistance of women of Native American descent in Virginia and the Carolinas; and race and criminalization in Virginia, 1870-1950.  She has presented papers on both topics at recent Association for the Study of African American Life and History conferences.

Before accepting her position at Mary Baldwin, she was director of African American Heritage Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at UVA. She has taught in the history departments at Virginia Tech, Morgan State University, and Piedmont Virginia Community College and worked as a public school teacher and counselor in Roanoke City Public Schools and Baltimore City Public Schools.