Quin’Nita Cobbins-Modica is an academic historian and educator whose research, teaching, and writing interests focus on black women’s history in the American West. She completed her Ph.D at the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in History from Fisk University and a Master’s in History from the University of Georgia. She has taught courses in U.S., African American, Civil Rights, and Pacific Northwest history at Gonzaga University, the University of Oregon, and Seattle Pacific University. Her article “Finding Peace Across the Ocean: Daisy Tibbs Dawson and the Rebuilding of Hiroshima,” was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History. Currently, she is working on a forthcoming book that explores the long history of black women’s political engagement, leadership, and activism in Seattle that went well beyond formal politics and the fight for women’s suffrage. While illuminating African American history in the Pacific Northwest, her work offers an expansive new interpretation of the symbiotic relationship between women’s activism, civil rights, and public service.
As a supporter of public history and digital humanities, she works with local historical institutions and contributes to online public-facing history projects. She has served as a researcher and guest teaching lecturer for the Northwest African American History Museum and as a gallery exhibit reviewer, exhibition co-curator, and historical consultant with the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle. In 2017, she co-authored a book, Seattle on the Spot, that explored photographs of Black Seattle through the lens of photographer, Al Smith. She also has published articles profiling black women activists in the American West for the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 digital project.
Cobbins-Modica has been a dedicated member of the BlackPast.org team since 2013, having worked in several capacities including webmaster, content contributor, associate editor, and executive director.