Kerri Greenidge presents: Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter Event Logo

Kerri Greenidge presents: Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter

by myFletcher

Lecture/Speaker

Wed, Feb 17, 2021

5:30 PM – 6:45 PM EST (GMT-5)

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Professor Kerri Greenidge is the author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (2019). Listed by the New York Times as one of its top picks of 2019, the book is the first biography of Boston editor, William Monroe Trotter, written in nearly fifty years.

Black Radical examines black radical politics and grass roots community protest in the north beyond the Washington-Du Bois dialectic. This biography reestablishes William Monroe Trotter’s essential place next to Douglass, Du Bois, and King in the pantheon of American civil rights heroes.

William Monroe Trotter (1872– 1934), though still virtually unknown to the wider public, was an unlikely American hero. With the stylistic verve of a newspaperman and the unwavering fearlessness of an emancipator, he galvanized black working- class citizens to wield their political power despite the violent racism of post- Reconstruction America. For more than thirty years, the Harvard-educated Trotter edited and published the Guardian, a weekly Boston newspaper that was read across the nation. Defining himself against the gradualist politics of Booker T. Washington and the elitism of W. E. B. Du Bois, Trotter advocated for a radical vision of black liberation that prefigured leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. Synthesizing years of archival research, historian Kerri Greenidge renders the drama of turn- of- the- century America and reclaims Trotter as a seminal figure, whose prophetic, yet ultimately tragic, life offers a link between the vision of Frederick Douglass and black radicalism in the modern era.

The book received the Mark Lynton Prize in History, the Massachusetts Book Ward, and the Peter J. Gomes Book Prize from the Massachusetts Historical Society. Black Radical was also short-listed for the Stone Book Award from the Museum of African American History, Boston, the Cundill History Prize, and the Plutarch Award for Best biography.

Professor Greenidge received her doctorate in American Studies from Boston University. Her scholarship examines African American and African Diasporic politics outside of the post-bellum South, particularly through popular literature and the trans-national black press. She is currently Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University, where she also co-directs the African American Trail Project, and where she serves as Interim Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

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