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Double-edged-ness: Black Life and White Supremacy in Property, Finance, and the City

Tue, Oct 15, 2019    1pm

Three authors discuss their recently published works, which consider the United States’ complicated racial history of property, finance, and cultural heritage post-Civil War. Each author details the nuanced “double-edged-ness” of the African American experience under both small scale and large scale systematic oppression. In this panel, Elizabeth A Herbin-Triant, author of Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods, discusses the intersectionality of race and class in land ownership and the conflicting motives that result in real estate and beyond. Shennette Garrett-Scott, author of Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal, shows how investment simultaneously created independence for black women yet limited their recognition as “economic citizens” in a Capitalist society. Lance Freeman expands on his book, A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black America, by parsing the layers of duality within the ghetto as they react under the New Negro Movement and white supremacy.

Lance Freeman is a Professor in the Urban Planning Program at Columbia University in New York City. His research focuses on affordable housing, gentrification, ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets, and the relationship between the built environment and well-being. Professor Freeman teaches courses on community development, housing policy and research methods.

Shennette Garrett-Scott is associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. She is a historian of gender, race, and capitalism. Her first book Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019) is the first full-length history of finance capitalism that centers black women and the banking institutions and networks they built from the eve of the Civil War to the Great Depression.

Elizabeth Herbin-Triant is a graduate of Columbia’s PhD program in History (her advisor was Eric Foner) and is currently an assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Threatening Property is her first book; she has published scholarly articles in the Journal of Southern History and Agricultural History and op-eds in venues including The Washington Post’s Made by History blog.

Ansley T. Erickson is associate professor of history and education at Teachers College, Columbia University and an affiliated faculty member in the Columbia Department of History. Her research focuses on schooling in 20th Century US cities and metropolises, with a particular interest in how racism and capitalism shape educational inequality and how communities contest this inequality. Next month Columbia University Press will release her new co-edited volume Educating Harlem: A Century of Schooling and Resistance in a Black Community, with Ernest Morrell.

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