Celebrating the Impact of African American Connecticut Explored, Feb. 26

Celebrating the Impact of African American Connecticut Explored, Feb. 26

African American Connecticut Explored book jacket

A panel discussion with editors Elizabeth Normen and Frank Mitchell, PhD, and other distinguished scholars will examine the many facets of African-descended people in Connecticut.

Fairfield University will join Connecticut Explored magazine to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of the book African American Connecticut Explored. Comprised of 50 essays by 30 scholars, this book was the first-ever collection to delve into the many facets of African-descended people in Connecticut. A panel discussion to commemorate its 2014 publication will take place at Fairfield University on Monday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. in the Kelley Center Presentation Room. This event is free and open to the public.

African American Connecticut Explored documents an array of subjects — including Black governors of Connecticut, prominent Black abolitionists, the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and even baseball great Jackie Robinson. The groundbreaking book won a Connecticut League of History Organizations Award of Merit in 2014 and is currently featured in the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History's "Connecticut's Bookshelf" exhibit and is used in schools all over Connecticut.

“Black History month is a great time for us to consider the totality of the Black experience, not only on the national and even global stage, but also closer to home,” said Patricia Behre, PhD, associate professor of history at Fairfield and one of the event’s organizers. “This underscores the living nature of work in history, its intimate connection to our lives, and its continuing importance to understanding the world in which we live today. I cannot think of a better project for the History Department and Fairfield to support and host.”

The distinguished panel will discuss the effects of the publication on current scholarship in Connecticut, and how the study of African American history in Connecticut has changed and grown since the book first appeared. Frank Mitchell, PhD, will moderate the panel following remarks by Elizabeth Normen, founding publisher, emeritus, of Connecticut Explored, Inc. and the editor of African American Connecticut Explored.

Dr. Mitchell is a cultural organizer in visual arts and public humanities. He is The Amistad Center for Art and Culture’s Curator at Large and Curatorial Adviser for the Toni N. and Wendell C. Harp Historical Museum at New Haven’s Dixwell Q House.

Meet the Panelists:

  • Shannon King, PhD, associate professor of history and director of the Black Studies program at Fairfield University.
  • Yohuru Williams, PhD, formerly a professor of history at Fairfield University, and former chair of the History Department, is a Distinguished University Chair and professor of History and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas. He will present via video. Also on video will be Brittney Yancy, PhD, assistant professor of African American history at Illinois College.
  • Camesha Scruggs, PhD, assistant professor of history at Central Connecticut State University.
  • Fiona Vernal, PhD, director of engaged, public, oral, and community histories (EPOCH) and associate professor of history and Africana studies at the University of Connecticut.
  • Stacey Close, PhD, professor of history and African American Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Camessha Scruggs, PhD, assistant professor of public history and African American history at Central Connecticut State University.
  • Siobhan Carter-David, PhD, professor of history specializing in African American History and Cultural Studies at Southern Connecticut State University.

Sponsored by the Fairfield University History Department and the Black Studies Program in observance of African-American History month.

African American Connecticut Explored

Date: Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Kelley Center Presentation Room, Fairfield University

Additional Details:

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Registration is not required. Sponsored by the History Department and the Black Studies Program in observance of African-American History month.

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