Leigh Soares

Department / Division

  • History
  • African American Studies


  • Assistant Professor


Email: lsoares@history.msstate.edu
Phone: 662-325-3604


  • 214 Allen Hall



Leigh Soares is an Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi State University. She is also a faculty affiliate with the African American Studies Program. She studies African American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her current book manuscript, Cradles of Citizenship: Public Black Colleges and Political Engagement from Reconstruction to Jim Crow, reveals higher education as an incubator for Black political organizing and leadership development in the post-Civil War South. Support for this project has come from the NAEd/Spencer Foundation and the Richards Civil War Era Center.

Dr. Soares offers courses in U.S. history and African American history. Her teaching interests include: Black political history; African American women; Civil War and Reconstruction; race and gender in the American South; the history of social movements.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), History, Northwestern University, 2019
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), History, College of William and Mary, 2012
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History, Duke University, 2010



Book Review


Oral Presentation

  • "Forgotten Founders: Black Women Leaders in Higher Education." Women's History Month Virtual Brown Bag Series, MSU Gender Studies, Virtual. 2021


  • "“Their Just Education Rights”: Black Officeholders and the Campaign for Public Black Colleges." OAH Annual Meeting 2021, Organization of American Historians, Virtual. 2021