Skip to Content

Department of History


Don S Polite, Jr.

Title: Graduate Student
PhD (Latin American and Caribbean History)
Department: History
College of Arts and Sciences
dj polite

Advisor: Dr. Matt Childs

Education: B.A. in American Studies, Williams College
M.S. in Education, CUNY Brooklyn College

Bio: My research is centered on race, empire, and citizenship. My dissertation topic looks primarily on the mutually reinforcing growth of U.S. Jim Crow policies and empire in the Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico. It explores the ways that the solidification of both relied on each other, and cemented secondary citizenship status for African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and especially women of both groups.

Currently, I serve on the Southern Historical Association Graduate Council. I am a recipient of the Gilder Lehrman Research Fellowship, the Grace Jordan McFadden Scholars Program Fellowship, as well as the Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Writing Fellowship. I have published in the Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association, as well as writing online pieces for Black Perspectives and Contingent Magazine.

In my community you will see me on the Columbia Police Department Citizens’ Advisory Council, as well as organizing with the Sierra Club and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety. 







Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.