McGruder to discuss new book on race, real estate
- Published: July 29, 2015
Dr. Kevin McGruder, assistant professor of history at Antioch College, will lead discuss his new book, Race and Real Estate: Conflict and Cooperation in Harlem, 1890–1920, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at McGregor 113 on the Antioch College campus. The book was published in June by the Columbia University Press.
The book is an expansion of McGruder’s doctoral dissertation, and culmination of his lifelong interests in African-American history, community development and the Harlem neighborhood in which he lived for many years in New York City. A member of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, McGruder also owned a business, Home to Harlem, and pursued a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. For his book, McGruder delved into many original historical real estate documents and newspaper articles, including those found at the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture at the New York Public Library, where McGruder was scholar in residence for a year. He was hired at Antioch in 2012.
While the traditional historian’s take on the black migration to Harlem focuses on white resistance, along with the development of a black ghetto, McGruder’s research indicated that the reality was more nuanced and complex. For instance, he found many real estate records showing that blacks moving into the area at the turn of the century bought homes from whites, indicating that there were white residents who didn’t resist the opening of the neighborhood to African Americans. McGruder also found that African Americans who moved to Harlem succeeded in community building through the creation of churches and running for political office.
Along with discussing his book, McGruder will sign copies at the Tuesday event.