It’s new book day at The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota!
We’re very proud and excited to announce the publication of One Hundred Voices: Harrisburg’s Historic African American Community, 1850-1920 edited by Calobe Jackson, Jr., Katie Wingert McArdle, David Pettegrew with a forward by Lenwood Sloan. You can download the book for free or purchase it via Amazon.
This book is a companion to the new Commonwealth Monument in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which will be dedicated on August 26, 2020. This monument is dedicated to the significant African American community in Pennsylvania’s capital and its historic struggle for the vote. The monument consists of a bronze pedestal that will feature the names of one hundred change agents who pursued the power of suffrage and citizenship between 1850 and 1920 in Harrisburg. This book tells the story of their unique and lasting contributions to the standing and life of African Americans—and, indeed, the political power of all Americans—within their local communities and across the country.
This book emerged at the intersection of the Commonwealth Monument Project (for more on that go here) and the Digital Harrisburg project (for more on that go here). This work is continuing. For example, check out the work of the Digital Harrisburg team discussing the region’s difficult history of racial injustice.
On a more personal note, I was really honored to be asked to help make this remarkable book possible. As readers of this blog know, David Pettegrew and I have been collaborating for over two decades now on various archaeological projects in the Eastern Mediterranean. Over this time, we’ve also developed our own interests and commitments to our local communities as well. It was really fun to be able to work on a project related to these non-Mediterranean projects especially this summer when it wasn’t possible to travel and do field work.
I really hope that you take the time to download and check out this book. It is a remarkable document situated at the intersection of community activism and academic historical research. But more than that, so many of the stories in the book are really engrossing and paint a rich picture of the African American community in Harrisburg over the course of the 19th and 20th century.