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History Café 2: Engaging with “Difficult Histories” Workshop

History Café 2: Engaging with “Difficult Histories” Workshop

Stephen Berrey and Tatiana Cruz will discuss "difficult histories," based on Berrey's expertise on the history of blackface.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 6:30pm

We invite you to join us at the next Cambridge Historical Society History Café, where scholars Stephen Berrey and Tatiana Cruz will help us define "difficult histories," who they are difficult for, and reflect on ways to grapple with them.

Professor Berrey’s expertise on the history of blackface and minstrelry is just one example of the difficult stories we may encounter in our families, in our communities, and in the news. How do we deal with the tough stuff of history? Using blackface as a lens to engage with challenging histories, including our own personal or family histories, Berrey and Cruz will provide historical context, both nationally and locally, and invite the audience to share how they wrestle with examples in their own lives.

This workshop is especially geared for those who:

  • Work in the museum or cultural sector
  • With a personal or family history they consider “difficult”
  • Are unsure how to wrestle with histories of slavery in their own communities
  • Are interested in discussing the renaming of streets in Cambridge or removing the seal from the Massachusetts flag
  • Want to discuss national news such as the removal of Confederate monuments or recent yearbooks depicting white people in blackface

We are honored to hold this event at the First Church in Cambridge, where Reverend Dan Smith and congregants are currently exploring the church's slaveholding past through remembrance and reparation.

Dr. Stephen Berrey is a professor of modern American history at University of Michigan. His current book research explores a cultural history of whiteness, drawing on local histories and amateur blackface performances to understand the making of race and culture in small-town America.

Dr. Tatiana Cruz is a historian of race and gender in modern U.S. culture at Lesley University. Her manuscript examines African American and Latinx racial formation, community development, and grassroots mobilization for racial justice in Boston in the twentieth century.

Light refreshments will be served. Free for students with an ID.

Phone Number: