100 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of African America about their New Books

New Books in African American Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of African America about their New Books

    Careers: A Discussion with Dorothy Berry, Digital Archivist

    Careers: A Discussion with Dorothy Berry, Digital Archivist

    On today’s podcast, I am chatting with Dorothy Berry, Houghton Library's Digital Collections Program Manager. In it, we discuss why she became an archivist, what digital archivists do, and about the great project she created and is leading at Houghton: Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation, and Freedom: Primary Sources from Houghton Library.
    Dorothy Berry received her MLS from Indiana University, as well as an MA in Ethnomusicology from the same institution, following a BA in Music Performance from Mills College. Previously she worked as the Metadata and Digitization Lead for Umbra Search African American History at University of Minnesota, as a Mellon Fellow at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and also as a graduate assistant at the Black Film Center/Archive and the Archives of African American Music and Culture.
    Adam McNeil is a third year Ph.D. in History student at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Richard J. Boles, "Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North" (NYU Press, 2020)

    Richard J. Boles, "Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North" (NYU Press, 2020)

    In Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North (NYU Press, 2020), Richard J. Boles argues that, contrary to traditional American religious historiography, interracial worship was a common and accepted practice in many northern Protestant churches in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. As Northern states outlawed slavery, Christians hardened their stances on segregation and discrimination, leading to racially divided Protestantism in the nineteenth century. Using archival sources from over four hundred congregations, Boles illuminates the complex racial and religious dynamics of the early American north and adds significant understanding to our knowledge of race in American religious history.
    Lane Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University where he studies American religious history. Find him on Twitter @TheeLaneDavis
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    • 45 min
    Careers: A Discussion with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Black Studies Scholar

    Careers: A Discussion with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Black Studies Scholar

    Today on New Books in African American Studies I am chatting with Carleton College Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly. Dr. Burden-Stelly is a critical Black Studies scholar of political theory, political economy, intellectual history, and historical sociology. On today's episode we discuss Dr. Burden-Stelly's path from graduate school through, teaching, and scholarship as a committed scholar of Black Studies. We also discuss how she plans out her research and writing agenda. Dr. Burden-Stelly is one of my favorite thinkers in Blackademia, and by the end of this episode, you might just say the same thing. Enjoy, New Books in African American Studies family.
    Adam McNeil is a third-year PhD Student in colonial and American Revolutionary Era Black Women's History at Rutgers University.
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918–1927" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918–1927" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927 (Columbia University 2020) by Jeffrey B. Perry, independent scholar and archivist, is an extensive intellectual history of the life and work of Black radical and autodidact Hubert Harrison. Perry is also editor of A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan, 2001) and author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia, 2008). He is the chief biographer of Hubert Harrison and Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality is a follow up to his aforementioned text on Harrison. (these two volumes can be ordered from Columbia University Press at 20% discount by using Code CUP20). Perry’s volume on Harrison’s life from 1883 to 1918 is considered to be the first volume of an Afro-Caribbean “and only the fourth of an African American after those of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes” (1). This current text is a continuation of the argument advanced in Perry’s initial text on Harrison. Harrison is often left out of major surveys of the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro Era, as Perry notes, and this is likely because the Renaissance is often viewed as a movement of Black intellectual elites with formal higher education. That said, Harrison was a working-class self-taught man who wrote reviews, essays, orations and was recognized by intellectual elites of his day and a member of the Socialist Party of America.
    Harrison was born in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1883 but relocated to the Harlem section of New York City in 1900, at age seventeen, where he eventually became a recognized writer, cultural critic, orator, editor and political activist including working with Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Perry defines Harrison as “the voice” of Harlem radicalism and also a “radical internationalist.” This is a challenge to standard views of the New Negro Era that tend to place intellectuals such as Alain Locke and W.E.B. Du Bois at the helm of Black thought and culture during the Harlem Renaissance moment in African American history. That said, Harrison was also involved with Garvey’s UNIA as editor of the Negro World and in labor activism. Harrison formed the Liberty League in 1917 and The Voice that helped to lay the foundation of the Garvey Movement and the Rise of the UNIA. He was involved in the major debates of his day including discussions about class consciousness, Black nationalism, internationalism, freethought and trade unionism. This second volume by Perry is very necessary given Harrison’s extensive engagement with the ideas and the production of knowledge as a self-taught organic intellectual with deep concerns about human liberation across class and race.
    Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Black Equality is organized into four major sections divided by twenty chapters including an “Epilogue.” It is a far-reaching text of more than 700 pages. Part I focuses on Harrison’s work with The Voice and his political activities in places such as Washington, D.C. and Virginia, In Part II, Harrison’s role as editor of the Negro World is assessed with a discussion of his debates and writings. Part III concerns Harrison’s work as a “freelance educator” and his work as a writer and speaker, while the final part of the text Part IV covers his role as a Black radical internationalist. This is a critically important text. Scholars of the Harlem Renaissance will find it difficult to dismiss Hubert Harrison as a major voice of the New Negro Era with the publication of this text. Perry’s painstaking coverage of Harrison gives him his rightful place in history as “the voice of Harlem radicalism.”
    Hettie V. Williams Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of African American history in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University where she teaches c

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Rachel Berenson Perry, "The Life and Art of Felrath Hines: From Dark to Light" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Rachel Berenson Perry, "The Life and Art of Felrath Hines: From Dark to Light" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Today I talked to Rachel Berenson Perry about her book The Life and Art of Felrath Hines: From Dark to Light (Indiana University Press, 2019). Felrath Hines (1913–1993), the first African American man to become a professional conservator for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, was born and raised in the segregated Midwest. Leaving their home in the South, Hines's parents migrated to Indianapolis with hopes for a better life. While growing up, Hines was encouraged by his seamstress mother to pursue his early passion for art by taking Saturday classes at Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. He moved to Chicago in 1937, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago in pursuit of his dreams.
    Kirstin L. Ellsworth holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Indiana University and is Associate Professor of Art History at California State University Dominguez Hills.
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    • 34 min
    Bruce Haynes, "Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family" (Columbia UP, 2019)

    Bruce Haynes, "Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family" (Columbia UP, 2019)

    Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family (Columbia UP, 2019) tells the story of one Harlem family across three generations, connecting its journey to the historical and social forces that transformed Harlem over the past century. Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch capture the tides of change that pushed blacks forward through the twentieth century--the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, the early civil rights victories, the Black Power and Black Arts movements--as well as the many forces that ravaged black communities, including Haynes's own. As an authority on race and urban communities, Haynes brings unique sociological insights to the American mobility saga and the tenuous nature of status and success among the black middle class.
    In many ways, Haynes's family defied the odds. All four great-grandparents on his father's side owned land in the South as early as 1880. His grandfather, George Edmund Haynes, was the founder of the National Urban League and a protégé of eminent black sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois; his grandmother, Elizabeth Ross Haynes, was a noted children's author of the Harlem Renaissance and a prominent social scientist. Yet these early advances and gains provided little anchor to the succeeding generations. This story is told against the backdrop of a crumbling three-story brownstone in Sugar Hill that once hosted Harlem Renaissance elites and later became an embodiment of the family's rise and demise. Down the Up Staircase is a stirring portrait of this family, each generation walking a tightrope, one misstep from free fall.
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    • 1 hr 2 min

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