Using oral history research under the direction of the Queer Newark Oral History Project, this essay explores how contemporary black lesbian entrepreneurs in the city of Newark, New Jersey, are engaged in entrepreneurial practices that resist patterns of gentrification. I argue for expanding our definition of public history to account for the business practices and social structures that queer black women in Newark are erecting as a part of their survival. These serve to pave the way for the preservation of their culture, enable them to collaborate with community in shared authority, and present queer black women’s knowledge and history to the wider public. By expanding the definition of what constitutes a public historian, we acknowledge the power of black lesbians as producers of historical knowledge and create new access points for shared inquiry with various marginalized communities that reach beyond academia and cultural institutions.
Invisible Pathways: Public History By Queer Black Women In Newark
Kristyn Scorsone is a doctoral student in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, where she is the volunteer manager for the Queer Newark Oral History Project. She is also the producer and host of the new Queer Newark Oral History Project podcast on iTunes and was part of the curatorial team for the traveling exhibit, “At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project.” Prior to entering the doctoral program, she worked as an archival assistant in the Puerto Rican Community Archives held at the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center in the Newark Public Library.
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Kristyn Scorsone; Invisible Pathways: Public History By Queer Black Women In Newark. The Public Historian 1 May 2019; 41 (2): 190–217. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2019.41.2.190
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