Tera W. Hunter is the Recipient of the Inaugural Prize for Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century

Boston—The Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket (MAAH), today announced that Tera W. Hunter, author of Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century(Harvard University Press) has won the inaugural 2018 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. The MAAH Stone Book Award— which showcases non-fiction literature that celebrates African American history and culture and includes a $25,000 prize— will be presented on September 13 at the African Meeting House, a designated National Historic Landmark, located on MAAH’s Boston site.  Hunter’s comprehensive and revealing historical account was among the more than 30 submissions which underscore the depth and diversity of black culture, history and expression.

“I want to congratulate Tera and thank her for sharing this astonishing work with the world.  She is truly deserving of this recognition.  I also want to acknowledge our judges for their dedication throughout the lengthy review process.  Each demonstrated their commitment to this new venture and to excellence in literary nonfiction,” said Marita Rivero, MAAH Executive Director.

Hunter is a professor in the History Department and African-American Studies at Princeton University. She specializes in African-American history and gender in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her research has focused on African American women and labor in the South during that period. She has received numerous fellowships and grants including a Mary I. Bunting Institute fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship from the Center for Research on Women at University of Memphis, and a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Museum of American History.

The two MAAH Stone Book Award semi-finalists, who, like Hunter, reflect many facets of the African American experience in their work, are as follows:

  • Chester B. Himes: A BiographyLawrence P. Jackson (W.W. Norton)
  • The New Negro: The Life of Alain LockeJeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press)

Three prominent scholars widely recognized for their work as authors, historians and academics served as jurors; Jarvis R. Givens, PhD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Allyson Hobbs, PhD, Associate Professor of United States History and Director, African and African American Studies at Stanford; and Dana Williams, PhD, Professor and Chair, Howard University Department of English.

The MAAH Stone Book Award was established in partnership with longtime benefactor, the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, whose mission is to promote a more knowledgeable and inclusive society with an emphasis on education, science, biodiversity, urban sustainability and the mitigation of economic inequality.


The Museum of African American History (MAAH) Boston and Nantucket, inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African American descent and those who found common cause with them in their quest for freedom and justice.  By preserving, conserving and interpreting its extensive collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological treasures, MAAH provides the foundation for its many programs and exhibits which tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century. The Museum is home to two historic properties on Boston’s Beacon Hill, the African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School.  In addition, the MAAH also owns five historic properties on Nantucket. MAAH offerings include Black Heritage Trails® located in Boston and on Nantucket. Exhibits, programs, and educational activities showcase the powerful stories of black families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom. For more information, please visit www.maah.org