Kendra Taira Field discusses Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War

Tuesday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Pegasus Books Downtown

Kendra Taira Field discusses Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War -- a masterful and poignant story of three African-American families who journeyed west after emancipation, by an award-winning scholar and descendant of the migrants.

“Personal and profoundly learned, Field, by unearthing the deeper roots of the Great Migration and back-to-Africa movement, explodes the simple structures of inherited histories while complicating understandings of race and nation in an America that never was, and never shall be, purely black and white.”
— Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
 

 


ABOUT

Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field’s epic family history chronicles the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the fifty years after emancipation. Drawing on decades of archival research and family lore within and beyond the United States, Field traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Indian towns and settlements.


When statehood, oil speculation, and Jim Crow segregation imperiled their lives and livelihoods, these formerly enslaved men and women again chose emigration. Some migrants launched a powerful back-to-Africa movement, while others moved on to Canada and Mexico. Their lives and choices deepen and widen the roots of the Great Migration. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field’s beautifully wrought narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kendra Field is assistant professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors’ migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009).

Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. Field's recent articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Transition. She is the recipient of the Western Writers of America's, 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the OAH's Huggins-Quarles Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013) and "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016).

Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, and worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.


PRAISE

“Personal and profoundly learned, Field, by unearthing the deeper roots of the Great Migration and back-to-Africa movement, explodes the simple structures of inherited histories while complicating understandings of race and nation in an America that never was, and never shall be, purely black and white.”
— Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

“This is a wonderful, capacious narrative about a country that remains always a dodgy work in progress. Field’s seamless interweaving of family, race, and nation—-of the particular, the subordinate, and the superordinate—recaptures exceptionalist possibilities that will upend and enrich her readers’ understanding of the American past.”
— David Levering Lewis, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Growing Up with the Country is a work of startling brilliance and originality, of heart-wrenching beauty and theoretical innovation. In Kendra Field’s able hands, her family stories become a window into the struggle for freedom in an era when emancipation and the dismantling of Indian sovereignty gave way to new forms of unfreedom, constriction, and possibility.”
— Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

“The most fascinating and cutting edge study to date on black settlers in Indian Territory and Oklahoma during the eras of Reconstruction and westward expansion.”
— Tiya Miles, author of Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom

“Kendra T. Field skillfully draws family stories and community histories into a sweeping and compelling critique of the competing sovereignties, conflicting claims to freedom, and shifting racial regimes that shaped the United States.”
— Craig Steven Wilder, author of Ebony & Ivory: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA
Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation After the Civil War (Lamar Series in Western History) Cover Image
$38.00
ISBN: 9780300180527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - January 9th, 2018

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