Prof. Carla L. Peterson is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park.You can learn more about her and her book at her website and a special website called the Black Gotham Archive set up to provide more details about information from the book. She hopes that others will also contribute stories and photos of New York City African American history as well which can be uploaded directly to the site.
The book Black Gotham:A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City, published by Yale University Press, is available for purchase from major books sellers online and off such as Amazon.com.
Carla Peterson is also the author of “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North, 1830-1880.
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The most recent episode of Fieldstone Common featuring Professor Carla L. Peterson, author of the book Black Gotham: A Family history of African Americans in 19th-Century New York City is now available as a podcast.
The podcast can be played through the computer using your default media player (click play below) or downloaded to iTunes (also below).
This week on Fieldstone Common, Marian Pierre-Louis interviews Carla L. Peterson, author of Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City.
Part detective tale, part social and cultural narrative, Black Gotham is Carla Peterson’s riveting account of her quest to reconstruct the lives of her nineteenth-century ancestors. As she shares their stories and those of their friends, neighbors, and business associates, she illuminates the greater history of African-American elites in New York City.
Carla L. Peterson
Black Gotham challenges many of the accepted “truths” about African-American history, including the assumption that the phrase “nineteenth-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 twentieth century. Beginning her story in the 1820s, Peterson focuses on the pupils of the Mulberry Street School, the graduates of which went on to become eminent African-American leaders. She traces their political activities as well as their many achievements in trade, business, and the professions against the backdrop of the expansion of scientific racism, the trauma of the Civil War draft riots, and the rise of Jim Crow.
Told in a vivid, fast-paced style, Black Gotham is an important account of the rarely acknowledged achievements of nineteenth-century African Americans and brings to the forefront a vital yet forgotten part of American history and culture.
Carla L. Peterson is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North, 1830–1880.
Connecticut’s Fife & Drum Tradition with James Clark. Musician and historian James Clark is the first to detail the colorful history of this unique music. This engaging book leads the reader through the history of the individual instruments and tells the story of this classic folk tradition through anecdotes, biographies, photographs, and musical examples.
28 Feb. 2013 at 1pm EST
Down East Schooners and Shipmasters with Ingrid Grenon. Nothing is more iconic of Maine than the image of a majestic vessel—masts raised—gliding through the fog on the dark North Atlantic. In this collection, author Ingrid Grenon presents the most important and incredible stories from the decks of Down East’s schooners, revealing how these remarkable vessels and Down East Maine are tied together.