VIRTUAL EVENT | 10 May 2022 | Traumas and Triumphs: A Roundtable on the History of Black Childhood | American Antiquarian Society

Traumas and Triumphs: A Roundtable on the History of Black Childhood

Crystal Lynn Webster and Kabria Baumgartner in conversation with Nazera Wright

Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at 7:00 PM ET (Approx. 60 minutes)

Co-sponsored by the Worcester Black History Project


This virtual program is free, but registration is required. You will be sent an email with a link and instructions on how to join the program upon registration. Closed captioning is available as an option via Zoom’s live transcription.

Join AAS for a roundtable discussion on the history of Black childhood. Moderated by Nazera Wright (University of Kentucky), this program brings together Kabria Baumgartner (Northeastern University) and Crystal Webster (University of British Columbia), who share their own research on the subject. Participants will discuss the threats and challenges facing African American children in the nineteenth century, as well as the ways in which they wrote, organized, and forged their own individual and collective identities. They will unpack the concept of and assumptions surrounding Black childhood, how it is represented in the archive, and what is needed next for this emerging field of study.

Headshot of Crystal Webster Crystal Lynn Webster is Assistant Professor of History at the University of British Columbia with a research focus on Black children in early America. Her book, Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North (UNC Press, 2021), is a social history of African American children and foregrounds their lives as fundamental to the process of the North’s prolonged transition from slavery to freedom. She received first place writing awards from the National Council for Black Studies and the Association of Black Women Historians, and most recently, was the recipient of the 2022 Maria Stewart Award for best article in African American Intellectual History. Webster is currently writing her second book, Condemned: How America’s First Courts and Prisons Terrorized Black Children. Additionally, her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Black Perspectives.

Headshot of Kabria Baumgartner Kabria Baumgartner is the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Northeastern University and Associate Director of Public History where she works on community-engaged histories about African Americans in New England. Her scholarship explores early African American history, women’s and gender history, and the history of education. She is the author of the award-winning book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America (New York University Press, 2019). She has published eleven peer-reviewed book chapters and articles on student activism and social movements. Her public writing has been featured in the Washington Post and Historic New England Magazine.

Nazera Sadiq Wright is an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Her book, Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century (2016), won the 2018 Children’s Literature Association’s Honor Book Award for Outstanding Book of Literary Criticism. Her research is supported by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. During 2017–18, she was in residence at the Library Company of Philadelphia as a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Program in African American History Fellow to advance her second book on the influence of libraries on the literary careers of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African American women writers. During 2020-2021, she also held a AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities Long-Term Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society.