Thomas Holt is a social and cultural historian who specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century African-American history, exploring issues of race and class in the Americas and comparing the experiences of people in the African diaspora.
He is the author of Black over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction (1977), a study of the American South after emancipation, and The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938 (1992), which examines Jamaica's economy, politics, and society after slavery. His book, The Problem of Race in the 21st Century (2002), draws on his thirty years of teaching and research to explore the future of race relations in America and offers conceptual tools and a new way to think and talk about racism as social reality.
Holt was a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Southern History (1983-86), Slavery & Abolition (1986-89), and the American Historical Review (1990-93). He taught at Howard University, Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, and is now the James Westfall Thompson Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago.
Holt received a B.A. (1965) and an M.A. (1967) from Howard University, and an M.Phil. (1970) and a Ph.D. (1973) from Yale University.