Shaw is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University. Her research interests focus on the history of African Americans, especially African-American women. Her first major work, What a Woman Ought to Be and to Do, examines black professional women during the Jim Crow Era. It won the Letitia Woods Brown Prize for the best book in African-American history. Shaw’s forthcoming scholarship includes a book on African-American slave women and another on black women during the Great Depression.