Marcy Sacks

Marcy Sacks


Julian S. Rammelkamp Professor of History
U.S. History/African-American History

Office: Robinson Hall 211
Phone: 517/629-0298



  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 1999 (History)
  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley (History),1993 
  • B.S., Cornell University (Industrial and Labor Relations), 1991 


Courses Offered

  • Race and Sports in America
  • U.S. History from Colonization to the Civil War
  • African American History to the Civil War
  • African American History; 1865 - Present
  • Road to Revolution
  • The Civil War and Reconstruction

 Scholarly Activity

Current research projects:

"The Other Side of Reconstruction: Black Northerners Confront the Aftermath of Southern Emancipation."


Joe Louis: Sports and Race in Twentieth Century America. Routledge (April 2018).
Before Harlem: The Black Experience in New York City Before World War I.  University of Pennsylvania Press (October 2006).

Selected Articles:

  • "Behind the Brown Mask: Joe Louis's Face and the Construction of Racial Mythologies," in ConFiguring America: Iconic Figures, Visuality, and the American Identity, Michael Fuchs, ed.  Forthcoming.
  • "Rand Paul and the Danger of Careless Rhetoric About Civil Rights."  Christian Science Monitor 5/26/2010.
  • Entry for "Harlem Property Owners Association," in The Encyclopedia of African American History.  Facts on File, 2010.
  • Entries for "The Emancipation Monument" and "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men" in The Essential Lincoln: A Political Encyclopedia.  Congressional Quarterly Press, forthcoming.
  • Entries for "Harlem," "The New York Age," and "The New Negro," in The Encyclopedia of African American History.  Oxford University Press, 2009.
  •  "Recreating Black New York at Century's End," in Slavery in New York, Ira Berlin and Leslie Harris, ed. The New Press, 2005: 325-349; book published in conjunction with 2005 exhibit at the New-York Historical Society.
  •  "'To Show Who Was in Charge': Police Repression of New York City's Black Population at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Urban History. Vol. 31, No. 6 (September 2005): 799-819.
  • "'To Be a Man and Not a Lackey:' Black Men, Work, and the Construction of Manhood in Gilded Age New York City," American Studies.  Vol. 45, No. 1 (Summer 2004): 39-63.
  • "We Rise and Fall Together: Separatism and the Demand for Equality by Albany's Black Citizens, 1827-1860."  Afro-Americans in New York Life and History.  Vol. 20, no. 2 (July 1996), pp. 7-33.

Research Interests:

African American History, U.S. Social and Cultural History.


  • Residency Research Fellow, Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan (2006-2007)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship ($40,000; 2006-2007)
  • Seminar Participant, "Slavery and Public History," sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and the Gilder Lehrman Institute (Columbia University, August 8-11, 2004)
  • Faculty Diversity Award, Albion College, 2003 (sponsored by the President's Advisory Committee on Multicultural Affairs)
  • Faculty Development Grants, Albion College, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • History and Culture Fellow, Albion College, 2000-2001
  • Emerson Grant, Hamilton College, 1998
  • New Jersey Historical Commission Research Grant, 1995-1996
  • Eugene Irving McCormac Graduate Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 1995-1996
  • New York State Library Research Resident, 1995
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, 1995