First the facts:
Rachel Louise Martin, Ph.D., is a writer and public intellectual. She earned a doctorate in women's and gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Her work has appeared in O Magazine, The Atlantic online and CityLab. She is a guest editor and reader for Narratively. She has been featured on the BBC's Food Chain, KCRW's Good Food and the Michelle Meow Show. Her essay "How Hot Chicken Really Happened" was included in Cornbread Nation 2015: The Best of Southern Food Writing.
But that doesn't explain why she does the work she does:
Rachel Martin did not go to graduate school to be a professor. She began her career as an entertainment journalist, which is where she realized people’s stories could illuminate the larger questions she had about why inequality and injustice persist in America today.
She sees her work as a writer and a historian as a form of social justice, a means of addressing the wrongs of the past so as to offer hope for the future. She believes in the power of stories to turn America into the American dream, making the nation more equal, a land of opportunity for everyone.
She is especially interested by the politics of memory, or how we remember and how we choose to forget the past. Memory and history—like all things involving power in America today—are seen as zero-sum games. But memories are not time machines into the past. They reveal something truer than a simple timeline of events. The stories we tell ourselves control our individual lives and our society. Unless we change how we talk about history, future generations will refight the same battles we are waging (again) today.
Click here to learn more about Out of the Silence, her book project.
Click here to learn more about her work as an oral historian.
Click here to contact her.