New Books Network

Ashley D. Farmer

AfroAm Studies Roundtable

Ashley Farmer on 'Archiving While Black'

New Books Network 2019

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network November 8, 2019 Adam McNeil

For histories to be written, historians must engage archival material. What happens, though, when particular groups of historians do not feel like they have...

For histories to be written, historians must engage archival material. What happens, though, when particular groups of historians do not feel like they have full access to archival material(s), simply because of their race? Before the 1960s and 1970s, when Black historians were accepted into the historical profession, African American scholars did not have equal access to the archives. The stain of this history has yet to go away.

In a special discussion on her groundbreaking 2018 Black Perspectives piece, “Archiving While Black,” Dr. Ashley D. Farmer, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and History, is interviewed by New Books in African American Studies co-host, Adam McNeil, about the origin story of Farmer’s important piece, and about her own experiences archiving while Black. Farmer discusses not only her personal experiences in the archive, but also how those experiences now inform her classroom teaching while training new historians.


Adam McNeil is a 2nd year History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.