Shennette Garrett-Scott, Tulane University

Shennette Garrett-Scott

Associate Professor
Paul and Debra Gibbons Professorship


Shennette Garrett-Scott (she/her/hers) is Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies and the Paul and Debra Gibbons Professor in the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts. She is passionately committed to recovering and telling little-known stories about African American women’s enterprise, labor, and activism. Considered one of the country’s foremost experts of Black business history, her work focuses on African Americans’ quest for economic and social justice. 

Her award-winning first book Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019) chronicles the critical roles Black women played in shaping early 20th-century finance. Banking on Freedom was a finalist for the Hagley Museum & Library and Business History Conference’s Hagley Prize for best book in business history, and it won the Southern Historical Association’s award for best book in southern economic history. It also won best book in African American women’s history prizes from both the Association of Black Women Historians and the Organization of American Historians. Her work has appeared in top U.S. and international academic journals as well as popular magazines, including Time, Financial History, and Southern Cultures magazines. Her second book, Black Enterprise: How Racial Capitalism Made America, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. 

Teaching Interests

African American women’s history
Modern African American political economic history
Business History

Selected Publications 

“Getting into Good Debt: Race, Debt, and the Pursuit of Freedom,” Modern American History (2023)

“Domesticating Racial Capitalism: Freedwomen in U.S. Industrial Sewing Schools, 1862–1872—An Opening Foray,” International Labor and Working-Class History (2022)

“‘All the Other Devils this Side of Hades’: Black Banks and the Mississippi Banking Law of 1914,” Business History Review (2021)

With Beth Kruse, Rhondalyn Peairs, and Jodi Skipper, “Remembering Ida, Ida Remembering: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Black Political Culture in Reconstruction-Era Mississippi,” Southern Cultures (2020)

“‘A Commercial Emancipation’ for the Negro: Financing Black Business in the 1920s,” Financial History Magazine(2019)

Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance before the New Deal (Columbia UP, 2019)