Adam Arenson: Easy and Hard Methods for Tracking African North Americans in Historical Records

I’m a historian of North America and director of the Urban Studies program at Manhattan College, having previously taught at UTEP. My first two books are on Civil War St. Louis and Mid-Century Modern Los Angeles, as well as co-editing books on frontier cities and the Civil War West. I teach American West, urban history, regions and borderlands history, African American history, and places those fields intersect, especially in the nineteenth century.

I am excited to be attending the WHA in my hometown!

In my Six Shooter presentation, I will describe my ongoing research on African North Americans who crossed the U.S.-Canada border after the Civil War. While I have not found many narrative sources, I have found many data points of African North American migration. This presentation will describe ongoing efforts to visualize and analyze this data using government documents, geo-location scripts, and Tableau visualizations and the role of a New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Labs grant, my colleague Dr. Musa Jafar, and our undergraduate students in this research.

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