Melissa Milewski is a PhD. Candidate in American History at New York University. She holds an M.A. in U.S. history from Brigham Young University and a B.A. in history from Stanford University. Her dissertation explores the journey of black southerners from slaves to litigants in civil courts from 1865 to 1920, focusing on African Americans’ experience navigating the legal process and the radical changes brought about by such cases in their relations with white southerners. She is also the author of Before the Manifesto: the Life Writings of Mary Lois Walker Morris (2007).