British Association for American Studies


Lauren Eglen

Lauren Eglen is a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham. Her project explores how black women’s leadership operates in different institutional spaces. Using the activism of Esther Cooper Jackson as a particular focus, she looks at how African American women adopted varying leadership styles and strategies relative to the space in which they were working. Her project complicates current narratives of black women’s leadership in the long black freedom struggle, demonstrating the ways in which space shapes activist strategy and moving beyond the local/national binary of current leadership scholarship.

Book Review: James and Esther Cooper Jackson: Love and Courage in the Black Freedom Movement by Sarah Rzeszutek Haviland

In this dual biography, Sarah Haviland traces the political and intellectual career of activist couple James and Esther Cooper Jackson. Utilising a combination of personally-conducted oral history interviews and archival material, she argues that an analysis of the couple demonstrates that communist-affiliated activists of the 1930s Popular Front era were able to adapt their activism and influence the trajectory of the modern civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s.