Antonio T. Bly

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Antonio T. Bly received his BA degree in History from Norfolk State University in 1996 and his M.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2006) in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. Before joining the History department at Appalachian State University, Dr. Bly taught at the University of Mary Washington (2004-2007), Virginia Commonwealth University (2006), Rappahannock Community College (2004-2005), the College of William and Mary (2002-2005), Norfolk State University (2000-2001), and Tidewater Community College(1999-2000). He currently teaches African American History, the History of the Book in America, Writing History, US History and Popular Culture, American Civilization, and First Year Seminar courses in the history of colonial and revolutionary America. In addition to teaching, he is the co-Director of the Africana Studies minor at ASU, as well as the current Vice-President of the University’s Black Faculty and Staff Association.

Dr. Bly’s research explores the interplay between early American and African American Studies and the History of the Book. He is the author of several scholarly essays. His forthcoming book is entitled “When He Went Away”: A Documentary History of Runaway Slaves in Eighteenth-Century New England, 1700-1789.

When not writing or teaching, Dr. Bly is a self-taught bassist and musician who enjoys playing all types of music with ASU faculty and students. From these varied musical conversations, and his interest in charity, he has organized and performed in Electric Freaky Blues, a benefit concert that has become an annual event that supports the Hunger and Health Coalition, serving Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties.

He and his wife, Donnamaria, Academic Coordinator of the History, Social Studies program at ASU, live in Ashe County, North Carolina with their two cats, Crystal Carrington and Hampton Lafayette.

Selected Publications


  • “When He Went Away”: A Documentary History of Runaway Slaves in Eighteenth-Century New England, 1700-1789. [Under contract]


  • “In Pursuit of Letters: A History of the Bray Schools for Enslave Children in Colonial Virginia” History of Education Quarterly (In Press).
  • “‘By her unveil'd each horrid crime appears’: Authorship, Text, and Subtext in Phillis Wheatley's POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL.” Textual Cultures. (In Press)
  • Slave Literacy and Orality” in The World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of Material Slave Life, eds., Martha B. Katz-Hyman and Kym S. Rice (Greenwood: Santa Barbara, 2011), 1: 11-15.
  • Pretends he can read”: Runaways and Literacy in Colonial America, 1730-1776” Early American Studies 6.2 (Fall 2008): 261-294.
  • Navigating the Print Line: Shaping Readers’ Expectations in Booker T. Washington’s Autobiographies” The Alabama Review 61.3 (July 2008): 190-215.
  • "And mouth with myriad subtleties": Booker T. Washington & the Art of Self-Fashioning" The Alabama Review 62.4 (October 2009): 298-300


black faculty and staff association BFSA jamming with purpose efb electric freaky blues