Joe William Trotter Jr.

Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice
Ph.D.: University of Minnesota, 1980
Department Member Since: 1985


The Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice is a specialist in U.S. urban, labor, and African-American history. In addition to books on African American life and labor in Milwaukee, West Virginia, and the Ohio Valley, Professor Trotter is the author of a two volume textbook on the African American experience from its African beginnings through recent times. His most recent published works include an edited volume (with Earl Lewis and Tera Hunter) on African American urban history and policy and (with Patricia Cooper) a special labor issue of the Journal of Urban History. His articles and reviews have appeared in a variety of edited works as well as professional journals.

Professor Trotter is also a past president of the Labor and Working Class History Association. In addition to his work as a professor in the Department of History, he is also director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), founded in 1995.

Professor Trotter is currently conducting research on African American life in the urban deep south and (with Jared Day) late 20th century Pittsburgh.


Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II (co-authored with Jared N. Day). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010.
“African American, Immigrant, and Ethnic History: The JAEH and its First 25 Years” Journal of American Ethnic History (in-press, Summer 2006).
The African American Urban Experience: From the Colonial Era to the Present with Earl Lewis and Tera W. Hunter (Palgrave Publishing Company, 2004).
“Urban and Labor History: Old and New Connections,” Journal of Urban History (special issue, edited with Patricia Cooper, 2004)
The African American Experience, Vols. I and II (Houghton Mifflin, 2001).
River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley (University Press of Kentucky, 1998).
African American History in Pennsylvania: Shifting Historical Perspectives, with Eric L. Smith (Penn State University Press, 1997).
Blacks in the Industrial Age: A Documentary History, 1880-1945, with Earl Lewis (Northeastern University Press, 1996).
African Americans in Depression and War, 1929-1945, the Young Oxford History of African Americans, general editors Earl Lewis and Robin D. G. Kelley, (Oxford University Press, 1995).
“African-American Workers: New Directions in U.S. Labor Historiography,” Labor History (Fall 1994).
“The Place of Black Workers in Southern Labor History,” in Gary M. Fink and Merle E. Reed, eds., Race, Class, and Community in Southern Labor History (University of Alabama Press, 1994).
The Great Migration in Historical Perspective: New Dimensions of Race, Class, and Gender, editor (Indiana University Press, 1991).
Coal, Class, and Color: Blacks in Southern West Virginia, 1915-1932 (University of Illinois Press, 1990).
Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915-45 (second edition, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007).

Courses Taught

African-American History I
African-American History II

Contact Info

Department of History
Baker Hall 246-C
P: 412.268.2875
F: 412.268.1019