Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Series: African American Women’s Activism in Historical Perspective

Highlighting objects related to African American women’s history in the Smithsonian collections, this virtual scholar talk focuses on African American women’s activism and contributions in historical perspective. Each speaker will explore an interesting aspect of African American women’s activism through an extended discussion of one or two objects.

WHEN: March 3 | 7:00 PM

This virtual event will be live captioned.

ADMISSION: FREE! | Registration required here
***The Zoom link will be included in your confirmation email.  Check your spam/junk folder if you do not see it within 24 hours of registration.

Crystal Moten, Curator, National Museum of American History
Nancy Bercaw, Chair, Division of Political and Military History, National Museum of American History
Modupe Labode, Curator, National Museum of American History
Aleia Brown, Assistant Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Snug Harbor brings the Smithsonian to Staten Island with this virtual series of exciting lectures examining the contribution of women throughout history. As a Smithsonian Affiliate in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the series explores aspects of women in American history and covers topics ranging from African American Women in activism to women’s influence on aeronautics and television.

Dr. Crystal M. Moten is curator of African American History in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where she specializes in African American business and labor history. Previously, she has been an assistant professor of history in small liberal arts colleges on the east coast and in the upper Midwest. Her current research centers on the intersection of race, class, and gender and specifically black women’s economic activism in the civil rights era Urban Midwest.

In 2017, Nancy Bercaw returned to the National Museum of American History to chair the Division of Political History.  Over the past 30 years, her research, writing, and curating has been centered on how Americans define freedom in deeply personal ways and how they put these beliefs into action.  As a professor at the University of Mississippi, Bercaw taught and wrote books about how Americans rooted their freedom close to home and in ways that grow out of their experiences as men, women, black, white, northern, or southern.

Modupe Labode is a public historian who has been a curator at the National Museum of American History since August 2019.  She works in two divisions—Political and Military History and Culture and Community Life—and her area of concentration is African American Social Justice History. From 2007-2019, she taught history and museum studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and was a public scholar of African American History and Museums.

Aleia M. Brown serves as the Assistant Director of the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) Initiative at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, where she co-directs the Restorative Justice Project and leads research, teaching, and programmatic initiatives. She was the recipient of the 2017-2019 Mellon-ACLS public fellowship, working as program manager at the Humanities Action Lab at Rutgers University-Newark.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is a Smithsonian Affiliate organization. This program is supported in part with public funding through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.