Revisiting Jim Crow: Memory and the Archive

Endorsed by the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE)

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: African American; Gender; Public History and Memory


This roundtable brings together scholars whose work interrogates the history of Jim Crow in the United States from various temporal, spatial, and theoretical perspectives. In particular, we will consider how the memory of Jim Crow is revealed in sources including oral histories, the black press, autobiography, and family records. Panelists will discuss new directions in the study of race and segregation and the quest to locate alternative sources that illuminate the lives of black Americans in the early twentieth century.

Session Participants

Panelist: N. D. B. Connolly, Johns Hopkins University
Nathan Connolly is the Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. His first book was A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida (University of Chicago Press, 2014). It received, among other awards, the 2014 Kenneth T. Jackson Book Award from the Urban History Association, the 2015 Liberty Legacy Foundation Book Award from the Organization of American Historians, and the 2016 Bennett H. Wall Book Award from the Southern Historical Association. His current project is Four Daughters: An America Story [sic]. This collective biography covers four generations of a single family, following the lives of four women of color whose forbearers migrated from the Caribbean to the United States by way of Britain between the early 1900s and 1990s. A genuinely Atlantic history, Four Daughters explores how Caribbean immigrants of color and their children defined success in America through years of British colonization, second-wave feminism, the civil rights movement, "right to work" politics, and the War on Drugs.

Panelist: Leslie M. Harris, Northwestern University
Leslie Harris is a Professor of History at Northwestern University. In her first book, In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (University of Chicago, 2003), she examines the impact of northern and southern slavery on the definitions of class, gender, citizenship and political activism promulgated by New York’s blacks and whites. That work led to her participation in the New-York Historical Society’s groundbreaking exhibition Slavery in New York (2005-2006), for which she was a principal advisor as well as co-editor, with Ira Berlin, of the accompanying book. For the next decade, Harris led and participated in a number of public history initiatives. Harris is currently at work on a book on New Orleans that uses Hurricane Katrina and her family’s history as a way to interrogate the history of African Americans in the city from the nineteenth century to the present. She also has ongoing research interests in the history of slavery, gender and sexuality in the antebellum U.S. south; and the historiography of U.S. slavery.

Panelist: Jonathan Scott Holloway, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Jonathan Holloway is Provost and Professor of History and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He specializes on post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002) and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both published by the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (NYU Press, 2005) and co-edited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He wrote the introduction for the 2015 edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, (Yale University Press), has submitted a survey tentatively titled The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of the African American Past for Oxford University Press, and is working on a new book, A History of Absence: Race and the Making of the Modern World. Before moving to Northwestern, Holloway was the Dean of Yale College and Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies at Yale University.

Panelist: Lynn M. Hudson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lynn M. Hudson is an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is also an affiliated faculty member of the African American Studies department. She earned an M.A. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her Ph.D. in history at Indiana University. Her areas of specialization include U.S. history, African American history, women and gender history, the history of the U.S. West, public history, and history and memory studies. She is the author of The Making of ‘Mammy Pleasant’: A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), which was awarded the Barbara Penny Kanner Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians; and “`Strong Animal Passions’ in the Gilded Age: Race, Sex, and a Senator on Trial,” Journal of the History of Sexuality (January/April 2000): 62-84, which was awarded the Joan Jensen-Darlis Miller Prize from the Coalition for Western Women’s History. Her forthcoming book, West of Jim Crow: The Fight Against California’s Color Line (University of Illinois Press, 2020) documents the ways California was an innovator of methods to control, contain, and restrict African Americans. Additionally, the book charts the myriad practices that African Americans and their allies employed to survive and resist segregation. She recently served as the chair of the Organization of American Historians committee for the Liberty Legacy Award for the best monograph in the history of civil rights in the U.S.

Panelist: Jane Rhodes, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jane Rhodes is a Professor and Department Head of African American Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her books include Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century, which was named the AEJMC best book in mass communication history in 1999; and Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon now in a second edition. Her current research investigates radical activism and the black public sphere. She is collaborating on a biography of her aunt, African American psychoanalyst and expatriate Marie Battle Singer titled Trans-Atlantic Blackness in the Era of Jim Crow.