The City, Segregation, and Civil Rights

with Brian J. Purnell
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 • Wednesday, December 8, 2021 • Wednesday, December 15, 2021
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST

Apply or nominate here.
Deadline: November 4.

This class looks at the history of racial segregation in American cities outside of the South. With New York City as a focal point, we will learn about the broad policies and social patterns that characterized racial discrimination beyond the South during the twentieth century. Then, we will examine major social movements for Civil Rights in other parts of the country. The course will pay special attention to the history of racial segregation in public schools, and the tremendous work activists did to overcome it.  

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Brian J. Purnell is the author of Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings: The Congress of Racial Equality in Brooklyn (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), which won the New York State Historical Association’s Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize, and the co-editor (with Jeanne Theoharis) of The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle Outside of the South. His research, writing, and teaching areas generally fall within the broad field of US history, with specific concentrations in African American history, urban history, and civil rights and black power movement history. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Purnell has called Brunswick, Maine, home since 2010. A scholar and public historian of New York City, he is currently editing a series of oral history interviews he conducted with the late activist educator, Jitu Weusi for a book entitled, The Narrative of Jitu Weusi: Brooklyn’s Black Power Educator. He is also completing A History of Brooklyn for the Great Courses/Amazon Audible digital platform. Last, Purnell is working on a longer-term project: a narrative history called Black People and the Making of Gotham: An African American History of New York City, under contract with Yale University Press. His work has also appeared in Black Perspectives, The North Star, The Washington Post-Made By History, The Conversation, and Common Dreams.

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