Current Staff

The Scarlet and Black Research Center convenes researchers and practitioners across the humanities to examine the global dimensions of anti-Black racism. The center is an arm of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice (ISGRJ) at Rutgers University.

The center is led by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History and the inaugural New Brunswick Campus Director of ISGRJ.

Jesse Bayker serves as our Digital Archivist and Research Project Manager. He curates the Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, leads our cross-institutional collaboration with On These Grounds, and manages our research team and communications.

Khemani Gibson and Adam Biggs are our current Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellows.

Our Graduate Research Assistants are Adam McNeil, Ashley Council, Isaac Guzman, A.J. Boyd, Sarah Coffman, Lindsey Dixon, and Shirley Paxton Fofang.

Senior Administrator Tanya McDonald provides administrative support to the Scarlet and Black Research Center and other areas of ISGRJ in New Brunswick.

Past Leadership and Contributors

The center derives its vision from the Scarlet and Black research project, which began with a deep dive into the historical connections between slavery and the university. From 2016 to 2021, the Scarlet and Black project was co-directed by Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History, and Marisa Fuentes, Presidential Term Chair in African American History. The project produced a three-volume publication that laid the cornerstone for the creation of the Scarlet and Black Research Center.

History of Scarlet and Black at Rutgers—learn more about the roots and development of Scarlet and Black.

Past Scarlet and Black Postdocs

Tracey Johnson, 2021-2022 Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Johnson is now an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Georgia.

Alexandria Russell, 2019-2021 Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Russell is now a Research Fellow for Harvard & The Legacy of Slavery at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Miya Carey, 2018-2019 Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Associate and co-editor for Volume 3. Dr. Carey is now an Assistant Professor of History at Binghamton University.

Kendra Boyd, 2017-2018 Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Associate and co-editor for Volume 2. Dr. Boyd is now an Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University–Camden.

Digital Archive Contributors

Beatrice J. Adams, Tracey Johnson, Brenann Sutter, Pamela Walker, and Caitlin Wiesner contributed to our digital collections and exhibits during their time as doctoral candidates in the history department at Rutgers–New Brunswick.

Contributors to the Scarlet and Black Books

Camila Townsend, Distinguished Professor of History, contributed a chapter about the intersecting histories of Rutgers University and the Lenni Lenape to Scarlet and Black, Volume 1. Her undergraduate students assisted in researching and writing this important foundational chapter in Rutgers history.

Most of the essays in our three books were written by doctoral researchers, and Professor Deborah Gray White’s undergraduate students also contributed to Scarlet and Black, Volume 3. For the complete list of authors and the chapters they contributed, see our Books page.

Public History Program Contributors

Students in the Public History Program contributed to the digital archive and walking tours associated with the Scarlet and Black Project.

Undergraduate students in Jesse Bayker’s Digital History course contributed content to our digital exhibits and the Rutgers and Slavery Timeline and edited Wikipedia articles to address slavery in Rutgers and New Brunswick history.

  • Digital history student contributors are Michael Collado, Christian Courtney, Rachel Diroll-Zack, Dante Intindola, Kathryn Mannoia, Sid Mehta, Ryan Moorhouse, Andrew Nester, Colleen Nester, Timothy O’Donnell, Khaled Reza, Jenny Schneider, Manan Shah, Adam Sofio, Courtney Stevenson, June Titus, Daniel Venetsky, and Joseph Westendorf.

Coordinator of Public History Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan contributed to the historical markers for campus landmarks and has worked with undergraduate students to develop campus walking tours and then translate tours and exhibits into digital content. Several graduate students also contributed to this work.

  • Adelina Begu, Tasnim Bhuiya, Carson Cummins, Tyler Johnson, Brooke Lockwood, Anjelica Matcho, Katherine Mitchell, Shania Pierre, Alexander Rosado-Torres, Jomaira Salas Pujols, June Titus, Andrea Vacchiano, and David Vinarov worked to develop the walking tours, ran focus groups for feedback, and led tours for hundreds of people.
  • Frankie Aguilar, Carson Cummins, Anjelica Matcho, and Dara Walker worked to develop a mobile app together with students from RUMAD (Rutgers Mobile App Development Club) and support from the Rutgers 250 Office.

Our Partners

Rutgers University Libraries

Erika Gorder, University Archivist, and Tom Frusciano, University Archivist Emeritus, have guided us through the maze of archival materials at Special Collections and University Archives.

Zara Wilkinson and Julie Still at the Paul Robeson Library helped us gather materials related to Rutgers–Camden.

Digital Humanities Librarian Francesca Giannetti supports our collaborative DH work with the On These Grounds project.

Mount Zion AME Church

Barbara Saunders, the history coordinator at the Mount Zion AME Church of New Brunswick has generously contributed her time and wisdom, enabling us to create a digital collection of Alice Jennings Archibald History Library Records. We are deeply grateful to her.