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Grant number like: FA-51715-05

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Carla L. Peterson
University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD 20742-5141)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

Reconstructing African American Life in Nineteenth-Century New York City

My book reconstructs the social and cultural life of 19th-century black New Yorkers through the medium of family history. I focus on two figures--my paternal great-great-grandfather Peter Guignon (1813-85), and his son-in-law, my great-grandfather, Philip White (1824-91). Their careers as social activists, educators, and entrepreneurs exist to a surprising degree in the public record, and I recreate the larger social network within which they lived and worked. Family biography thus serves as a window onto a broader social panorama of black life that enhances our understanding not only of black New Yorkers but of African-American society in general. The project's methodologies and narrative style are designed to reach a broad audience.