This Week I Answer Reader Questions on Times’ “Taking Questions”

This week I am honored to be featured by The New York Times City Room “Taking Questions” series on my book, Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City (Yale University Press, 2011). Black Gotham is an account of my quest to reconstruct the lives of my nineteenth-century ancestors. By sharing their stories and those of their friends, neighbors, and business associates, I seek to illuminate the wider history of African-American elites in New York City. Readers may submit their questions to me about nineteenth-century black New York on the “Taking Questions” page, and I will respond in subsequent posts.

During my current MITH faculty fellowship, I am creating the Black Gotham Archive, a dynamic website based upon my book, Black Gotham. The site chronicles the visual and textual history of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, and links this information to interactive maps, in order to create a deeper understanding of nineteenth-century black New Yorkers. Please follow my project on Twitter @bgarchive.

Additionally, this Sunday I will be giving book talks at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem and at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on Feb. 29. On March 15, I will speak at the New-York Historical Society on a panel about the draft riots. Please see schedule at right for a complete listing of events, and check back as this schedule will continue to be updated.


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