Photo of Tamara J. Walker


On June 20, 2023, Tamara J. Walker, associate professor of Africana studies, published a new book, Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad. Mixing the genres of historical nonfiction and travel memoir, Beyond the Shores chronicles the experiences of a diverse group of African Americans who left the United States throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The book is the culmination of years of research by Walker in which she shares stories of the Black American experience overseas, including those of talented performer Florence Mills in Paris and author and filmmaker Richard Wright in Buenos Aires. Walker also incorporates, as a common thread throughout the book, details from her own — and her family’s — experiences abroad. Through this wide range of stories, Beyond the Shores explores themes of home and the search for a better life.

Walker’s previous book, Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing, and Status in Colonial Lima, won the 2018 Harriet Tubman Book Prize from the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Harriet Tubman Book Prize is awarded to the best nonfiction book published in the United States on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World.