Thomas C. Holt is a historian and the James Westfall Thompson Professor Emeritus of American and African American History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of a number of works on the people and descendants of the African Diaspora, including Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction (Illinois, 1977), Children of Fire: A History of African Americans (Hill & Wang, 2010), and The Problem of Race in the Twenty-first Century (Harvard, 2002). His most recent book is The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights (OUP, 2021), which chronicles the mid-twentieth-century freedom movement and its enduring legacy.
Born in Danville, Virginia, Holt has taught at Howard University, Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. He has also been honored with numerous awards over his career, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Genius Award, and a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars fellowship. He is a past president of the American Historical Association, and in 1994 was named to the National Council on Humanities by President Bill Clinton.