meet the project directors
Kendra Taira Field is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors’ migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Her current book project is about the African American genealogical quest from the Middle Passage through the present. In this vein, Field is co-convening a 2019-2020 Mellon Sawyer Seminar on the politics of kinship, “Defamiliarizing the Family: Genealogy and Kinship as Critical Method." Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. She is the recipient of the Western Writers of America's, 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the OAH's Huggins-Quarles Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013) and "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016). Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, and worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.
DR. KERRI GREENIDGE received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her forthcoming book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter will be published by Norton in Fall, 2019. The book, a biography of African-American activist, William Monroe Trotter, explores the history of racial thought and African American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She is currently co-director of the African American Trail Project through Tufts’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD). She also serves as interim director of the American Studies Program through Tufts’ Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Her scholarship explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006).
Meet the project team
MARY McNEIL is a fourth year in the Program in American Studies at Harvard University. Her dissertation examines black women's space taking and place making practices in Boston during the long Black Power era; it incorpormethods and disciplinary concerns from black feminist thought, black political thought, history, and geography. At Harvard, Mary has worked on issues of diversity and inclusion as a graduate student admissions representative for the American Studies program at Harvard, as a graduate student mentor for Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) students, and as a co-founder of the Harvard Race and Ethnicity Working Group. At Tufts, Mary joins the African American Trail Project as a research assistant.
RAYSHAUNA GRAY is a research assistant for the African American Trail Project. She loves researching with Tufts University's Center for the Study of Race & Democracy and Harvard University’s History Design Studio, and serving on the Cambridge Historical Society's communications board. After spending years creating content for Boston's Museum of African American History and advancing legislation with the National Organization for Women in Massachusetts, she is currently finishing her first book, Roseland (Belt Publishing, 2020). Roseland narrates the last two hundred years of the nation’s history through the stories of seven generations of women in Gray’s maternal line. Gray is from Chicago, and presently resides in Cambridge, MA.
DANUTA FORBES provides vital administrative support to the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and the African American Trail Project at Tufts University. Forbes coordinates special events, bus and walking tours, and community outreach efforts for the center. Previously, she worked at Government and Community Relations at Tufts University and WGBH/TV in Boston.