Announcements and Events Forum
Black Gotham with Carla L.Peterson, Ph.D.
Research at the National Archives and Beyond!
February 21, 2013
9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific
Learn how Cluster Research helped to unravel the history of a family in 19th Century New York!
Part detective tale, part social and cultural narrative, Black Gotham is Carla L. Peterson’s riveting account of her quest to reconstruct the lives of her nineteenth-century ancestors from youth to adulthood. Her book challenges many of the accepted “truths” about African American history, including the assumption that the phrase “19-century black Americans” means enslaved people, that “New York State before the Civil War” refers to a place of freedom, and that a black elite did not exist until the 20th century. Peterson demonstrates that despite the rise of scientific racism, the trauma of the Civil War draft riots, and the advent of Jim Crow, members of New York’s 19-century elite achieved remarkable success in their public activism, trades, and professions.
Peterson is a professor in the department of English at the University of Maryland, and affiliate faculty of the departments of Women’s Studies, American Studies, and African-American Studies.