Constance B. Hilliard | Department of History

Constance B. Hilliard

WH 245
African History, Black Women in America

I began my career as an African historian translating manuscripts from Timbuktu and seeking out authentic African voices to tell of the rise and fall of empires, the disruption of farming communities by the slave trade, colonialism and the emergence of modern African states. In recent years, my focus has turned to the ways in which a detailed knowledge of history and ecological environments can be applied to uncovering the etiology of certain health disparities in African descent populations. I integrate these insights into the courses I teach in Ancient and Modern African History as well as the History of Black Women in America.

UNT Faculty Profile


Straightening the Bell Curve: How Stereotypes about Black Masculinity Drive Research on Race & Intelligence, Potomac, 2012. The premise of this book is that researchers preoccupied with proving racial hierarchies often sacrifice scientific truth to masculine insecurities. The tendency to justify racial and cultural stereotypes on the grounds that they reflect underlying biological differences has a long and controversial history in America. As far back as the eighteenth century, new areas of scientific research employed craniology and craniometry in an attempt to "document" black inferiority. This scholarly preoccupation with measuring skull sizes emerged concomitant with two important developments: the solidifying of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the deep-seated fear among Europeans that Africans possessed larger sexual organs than they. Thus, craniologists came to the rescue of their anxious male patrons, insisting that the price Africa's "oversexed savages" paid for being well endowed was cognitive underdevelopment, confirmed through bogus skull measurement experiments.

Does Israel Have a Future? Potomac, 2009. The roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict are traced back to the environment of anti-Semitism during and after World War II. This study delves into the influence of anti-Semitism in the United States during and after World War II, which underlie the conflict between Palestinians and Israeli Jews.

The Intellectual Traditions of Pre-Colonial Africa, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 1997. This book contains English translations of historical chronicles and of other original texts reflecting the intellectual history of the African continent from Ancient Egypt and Nubia, Ethiopia, North Africa, Timbuktu in West Africa, and the Swahili Coast of East Africa, Central and Southern Africa. This work offers a creative new approach to the neglected field of pre-colonial African historiography.

Recent Referred Journal Articles

Hilliard, C. (2018). Ecological model links proto-oncogene to high incidence of metastatic cancers in African-Americans. Journal of Cancer Research & Therapy, 6(5), 37-40.

Hilliard, C. (2016). High osteoporosis risk among East Africans linked to lactase persistence genotype. Nature: BoneKEy Reports. 5: 803.