Daina Ramey Berry is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her BA, MA and PhD in African American Studies and U.S. History at UCLA. Dr. Berry is a specialist on the history of gender and slavery in the United States with a particular emphasis on the social and economic history of the nineteenth century.
Her first book, Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe: Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia (University of Illinois Press, 2007), examined slave labor, family, and community in two distinct regions. She is the editor-in-chief of Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2012), which was awarded one of the 2013 Outstanding Reference Sources by the American Library Association. Professor Berry also co-edited Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (University of Georgia Press, 2014), which has received multiple book awards. In October 2018, Berry and Leslie Harris (Northwestern) co-edited Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas (UGA, 2018), based on a conference held at UT Austin in 2011.
Dr. Berry has appeared on several syndicated radio and television shows including four times on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (NBC/TLC) where she reconstructed the enslaved ancestry of Spike Lee, Alfre Woodard, Aisha Tyler, and Smokey Robinson. She also appeared on CNN At this Hour Show with John Berman; C-SPAN’s Book TV; National Geographic Explorer; NPR’s The Takeaway; The Tavis Smiley Show; The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (PBS Peabody Award Winner, Emmy Nominated Documentary) hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.; The Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show; and The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents (History Channel). In 2016, she served at a historical consultant and technical advisor for the remake of ROOTS by Alex Haley.
Dr. Berry has received prestigious fellowships for her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the American Council of Learned Societies; the American Association of University Women and the Ford Foundation. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her work has been, featured in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, and Huffington Post. Her recent book, The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to the Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon, 2017) has been awarded two national book awards from the Society for Historians of the Early Republic and the Sons and Daughters of the US Middle Passage, and it is a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Hamilton Book Prize. Professor Berry is currently finishing a co-authored book, A Black Women's History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2020), creating a resource on slavery for K-12 educators, implementing a digital archive on the domestic slave trade, and working with Adriane Hopper Williams and EnLight Productions on Making History Hers, a digital platform that celebrates women’s history.