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Whitney  Battle-Baptiste - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Whitney Battle-Baptiste Whitney  Battle-Baptiste

Professor of Anthropology / Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Whitney Battle-Baptiste's research focuses on how the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality look through an archaeological lens.


Expertise (4)


Black Feminist Theory

Heritage Studies

African Studies


A historical archaeologist who focuses on the historical intersection of race, class, and gender in shaping cultural landscapes in the African diaspora. Whitney Battle-Baptiste has appeared in print, electronic and digital media to discuss a wide range of topics including the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the history of W.E.B. Du Bois.

Her theoretical interests include Black feminist theory, African American material and expressive culture, and critical heritage studies. Her work spans a variety of historic sites in the Northern and Southern United States, including the home of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee; Rich Neck Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia; the Abiel Smith School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the W. E. B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her latest research is a community-based archaeology project at the Millars Plantation site on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

Social Media






Whitney Battle-Baptiste talks about issues at Pelham Elementary Why Anthropology? Whitney Battle-Baptiste 11 30 2017


Education (3)

University of Texas: Ph.D., Anthropology

The College of William & Mary: M.A., History

Virginia State University: B.A., History & Education

Media Coverage (2)

Beyond the textbooks: A closer look at Martin Luther King Jr.

WWLP  tv


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, WWLP's "Mass Appeal" takes a closer look at this iconic civil rights leader with insight from UMass Amherst Professor Whitney Battle-Baptiste. According to Professor Battle-Baptiste, many don’t realize in addition to civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist for social justice and economic equality.

Whitney Battle-Baptiste on television

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Tribute to Du Bois’ 150th birthday kicks off with new exhibit and youth involvement

The Berkshire Edge  


Whitney Battle-Baptiste, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst and a Du Bois scholar, told attendees that, during the week of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, “it’s important that we understand Du Bois’ role as kind of an architect of the civil rights movement.” “When I first came to UMass, Du Bois and Great Barrington — difficult relationship,” Battle-Baptiste recalled. “To come into this library and to see this … Great Barrington was always in his heart and in his soul, no matter that even though he was laid to rest in Ghana. Please understand that Great Barrington, from the time he was born to the time he died, was always in his heart.”

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Publications (1)

Contexts of Resistance in African American Wester Massachusetts: A View from the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, MA

Historical Archaeology

Paynter, R. and W. Battle-Baptiste

2017 Thematic Issue, The Connecticut River Valley: Five Centuries of Material Change

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