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Boston Talks About Racism

The Black Experience in Boston

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Date and time
Friday, May 05, 2017

GrubStreet, the Boston Literary District, and Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity joined forces to host "Who Are We When We’re At Home: the Black Experience in Boston” during the [Muse and the Marketplace 2017](https://grubstreet.org/muse/ "grub street conference link") conference at the Park Plaza Hotel. Boston Globe Associate Editor and Op-ed columnist Renee Graham moderates a conversation about the experience of code/switching that's common to African Americans nationally but also particularly in greater Boston, a city with its own very complicated and contradictory racial history. She’s joined at the table by the poet Charles Coe, historian Kerri Greenidge, and Boston’s Chief Resiliency Officer, Dr. Atyia Martin.

Charles Coe is a poet, prose writer, teacher of writing and a musician. His books include _All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents_ and _Picnic on the Moon_, both published by Leapfrog Press as well as _Spin Cycles_, a novella published by Gemma Media. He received a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light in 2014.” In 2017 he was an Artist-in-Residence for the city of Boston. Charles served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York and has taught in Dingle, Ireland for the Bay Path University MFA Abroad program. He is an adjunct professor of English at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, teaching poetry and nonfiction in the low-residency MFA program.
**Dr. Kerri Greenidge** 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 forthcoming book is a biography of African-American activist, William Monroe Trotter, which explores the history of racial thought and African American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She teaches at Tufts University where she is currently co-director of the Tufts / African American Freedom Trail Project, and where she serves as Interim Director of the American Studies Program through the University’s Consortium of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Her biography of Boston activist, William Monroe Trotter, will be released by W.W. Norton Press in Winter, 2018.
**Dr. Atyia Martin** was appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston as part of the 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockefeller foundation. She is adjunct faculty at Northeastern University in the Master of Homeland Security program. She is the former Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). She has a variety of experiences working in emergency management, intelligence, and homeland security.