The African American Trail Project at Tufts University

The African American Trail Project at Tufts University
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Friday, October 5, noon - 1:00 p.m.
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Dr. Kerri Greenidge and Dr. Kendra Field
NEHGS Library and Archives, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
Cost: Free

In this presentation, historians Kerri Greenidge and Kendra Field will introduce the work of the African American Freedom Trail Project, while considering the role of universities in the public history of greater Boston. The African American Freedom Trail Project is a city-wide organizational network and community-based archive, housed at Tufts University. Inspired by the scholarship of the late Tufts Professor Gerald R. Gill (1948-2007) on civil rights and the history of Black Boston, and driven by faculty and student research, the project maps African American and African-descended public history sites, while developing collaborative, community-based public history projects. Through research, exhibits, and community engagement, this project aims to develop African American historical memory and inter-generational community across greater Boston. Ultimately, The African American Freedom Trail Project places present-day struggles for racial justice in the context of historical movements for social change that originated, and found expression in greater Boston's historic African American, Black Native, and diasporic communities.

About our Speakers:

Dr. Kendra Field is associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors' migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Field's research and teaching areas include race, slavery, freedom, migration, and social movements in the long nineteenth century; African-American family history, memory, and public history. Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. Field's recent articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Transition. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013) and "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016). Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, and worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.

Dr. Kerri Greenidge is the Interim Director of American Studies at Tufts. Kerri Greenidge received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her research explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for The Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006). Her forthcoming book Trotter: Race and Politics in Boston will be published by Norton in Spring, 2019. The book, a biography of African-American activist, William Monroe Trotter, explores the history of racial thought and African American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She is currently co-director of the African American Trail Project through Tufts’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD).