Kendra Field

Dr. Kendra Field

Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

Dr. 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, 2018). Her current book project, The Stories We Tell (W.W. Norton) is a history of African American genealogy and storytelling from the Middle Passage to the present. Field abridged David Levering Lewis’ W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009), and her scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Journal of African American HistorySouthern Cultures, and the American Historical Review. Her recent AHR article, "The Privilege of Family History" explores the history of African American engagement with family history and genealogy in slavery and freedom.

As a public historian, Field co-founded the African American Trail Project and the Du Bois Forum, a retreat for writers, scholars, and artists of color; served as project historian for the Du Bois Freedom Center; co-curated “We Who Believe In Freedom: Black Feminist DC,” the inaugural exhibition (2023) of the National Women’s History Museum; and serves as chief historian for the 10 Million Names Project.

Field has been awarded numerous grants and 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 2022 NAACP W.E.B. Du Bois Award. With the support of the Mellon Foundation, Field convened a 2019-2020 Mellon Sawyer Seminar on the politics of kinship, “Defamiliarizing the Family: Genealogy and Kinship as Critical Method.” Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” (2013), “Roots: A History Revealed” (2016), and “Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre” (2021). Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Before entering the academy, she worked in education, organizing, and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.

Faculty Profile
Kerri Greenidge

Dr. Kerri Greenidge

Co-Director, African American Trail Project

Kerri Greenidge is associate professor of studies in race, colonialism, and diaspora and of history. She is currently interim Director of American Studies at Tufts University, and co-director of the African American Trail Project at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD).

She 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 research 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). Her book Trotter: Race and Politics in Boston was published by Norton in Spring 2019. The book, a biography of African-American activist William Monroe Trotter, explored the history of racial thought and African-American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century.

Faculty Profile
Peniel E. Joseph

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph

Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

Peniel E. Joseph is a former professor of history at Tufts University and now holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

Professor Joseph is the author of the award-winning Waiting #39;Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America; and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. He is also the editor of The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era, and Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level. He received a BA from SUNY at Stony Brook and a PhD from Temple University.

Dr. Joseph is a frequent observer on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights whose commentary has been featured on National Public Radio. During the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Professor Joseph provided historical commentary for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

The recipient of fellowships from Harvard University's Charles Warren Center, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Ford Foundation, Professor Joseph's essays have appeared in The Journal of American History, The Chronicle Review, The New York Times, The Black Scholar, Souls, and American Historical Review. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Faculty Profile
James Jennings

Dr. James Jennings


James Jennings is an emeritus Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts. He received his doctorate in political science from Columbia University. He teaches graduate courses on community development, U.S. social policy, and related courses focusing on race, poverty, and urban neighborhoods. Dr. Jennings has also been involved with research examining the role and impact of immigrant workers and entrepreneurs in state economies.

Professor Jennings has published numerous books including A New Introduction to Poverty: Role of Race, Power and Politics (co-edited); Blacks, Latinos, and Asians: Status and Prospects for Activism; Urban Spaces: Planning and Struggles for Land and Community (co-edited); Welfare Reform and the Revitalization of Inner City Neighborhoods; and Race, Neighborhoods, and the Misuse of Social Capital. His reports covering urban and neighborhood issues in the areas of local economic development, housing, public health, and education have been cited by public agencies and foundations across the country.

Most recently, Dr. Jennings published a research report exploring potential collaboration between public housing and public schools, Boston Housing Authority and Boston Public Schools: Exploring Academic Collaboration, and a research report for the William Monroe Trotter Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston: Black Churches and Neighborhood Empowerment in Boston, Massachusetts 1960s and 1970s: Lessons for Today.

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