Alex Byrd is a historian of Afro-America, and associate professor in the department of history. He earned a B.A. from Rice University (Sid ‘90), and received his Ph.D. from Duke University. Byrd began his career as a student of free and forced transatlantic black migration in the era of the American Revolution, and his book Captives and Voyagers was awarded the 2009 Wesley-Logan prize in African diaspora history. He is also the recipient of the 2010 Douglass Adair Award for the best article published in the William and Mary Quarterly in the preceding six years.
Byrd’s current research is focused at the intersection of urban history and the history of education. He recently presented aspects of this work-in-progress (on the efficacy of black teachers in black schools, and on diversity as a kind of white privilege) as the 54th Annual Furniss Lectures at Colorado State University. With Celia Naylor he is presently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of African American History. With Brian Behnken and Emily Straus, he is shepherding a collection of essays on the historical significance of race and place in Houston, Texas (under advance contract with LSU Press).
Byrd is a four time recipient of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching (2006, 2013, 2015, and 2018), and in 2010 he was the recipient of the Presidential Mentoring Award. From 2011 to 2016, he served as the faculty master of Wiess College. He is a frequent collaborator on various projects in history and social studies education (most recently with the Georgia Historical Society and the Houston Independent School District).