Historian Dylan Penningroth has won a MacArthur fellowship. He studies African-American social legal history, and he has focused on the ownership of property by slaves and its connection to the Civil Rights Movement.
Penningroth says his research is far from over.
"I'm trying to figure out what they did -- how they managed to, I think, use law as well as fight back against law's most oppressive forces," said Penningroth.
The fellowship gives a $500,000 grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more.