This spring I was actively researching the migration of New Englanders westward into New York. As often happens when you are searching for one thing you stumble upon another. My goal was to find books New York that would explain why so many New Englanders chose to settle or at least stop in New York. I found I needed to do a very broad search on New York history in order to find appropriate books.
It was kind of fun to see the range of book about New York history. Easily half of them were about Manhattan. They dealt with all different topics from the Nickerbockers, to Broadway and on to the Harlem Renaissance. What really got me distracted was the wide selection of books on African Americans in New York history.
I had to put the books aside until I finished my project but now I have the summer to dive into a topic that is starting to pique my curiosity. I've always maintained a strong interest in African American history in New England. Venturing into New York City is unexpected for me but I'm really enjoying the exploration.
Here's the list of books I'll absorbing this summer. I was able to get all these books through my local library network.
New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan
by Jill Lepore (Knopf, 2005).
In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (Historical Studies of Urban America)
by Leslie M. Harris (University of Chicago Press,2003).
Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto : Negro New York, 1890-1930
by Gilbert Osofsky (Harper & Row, 1963).
Stories of Freedom in Black New York
by Shane White (Harvard University Press, 2002).
Slavery in New York
edited by Ira Berlin and Leslie M. Harris (The New Press, 2005).
African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861
by Leslie M. Alexander (University of Illinois Press, 2008)
Summer is short! Time for me to get reading!