Interview: White, Deborah Gray, 2016


Resource class
Interview: White, Deborah Gray, 2016
White, Deborah Gray
Birth Year
Durant, Kai
Jihad, Aiyana
Location Created
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Date Created
9 November 2016
Deborah Gray White is the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History and Professor of History at Rutgers University. During her forty years at Rutgers, she has not only been a professor but also the co-director of "The Black Atlantic: Race, Nation and Gender" project at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis (1997-99), a research professor at the Rutgers Institute for Research on Women (1999-2000), and chair of the history department (2000-03). As an Americanist who specializes in African American and American Women’s history, Professor White is especially interested in issues of identity and the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

In this interview, Dr. White begins by talking about the influential women in her childhood. Then the interview transitions to her work as a historian and what her title at Rutgers means. She also discusses her work directing a major institutional research project that uncovered the history of enslaved and disenfranchised populations in Rutgers history. The project resulted in the publication of the book Scarlet and Black: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History. The interview ends with her advice for young Black women on how to obtain the type of success Dr. White has achieved.
Source Project Description
This interview was conducted by IWL Leadership Scholars as part of an ongoing intergenerational interview program at the Institute for Women's Leadership. Since the inception of the Leadership Scholars Certificate Program in the fall of 1999, students have conducted annual interviews with outstanding women leaders. Select transcripts from the collection are accessible on the IWL website.
Institute for Women's Leadership (IWL), Rutgers University–New Brunswick
For permission to use interview excerpts from the Women's Leadership Interview Archive, contact the Institute for Women's Leadership at Rutgers University–New Brunswick at

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