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.
- Digital Archivist / Research Project Manager
- Affiliated Scholars
- Graduate Research Assistants
- Past Contributors
Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History and the inaugural New Brunswick Campus Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. She leads the Scarlet and Black Research Center as her signature project at ISGRJ. Dr. Dunbar holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is a scholar of African American women’s history, urban slavery, and emancipation studies with a specialization in late 18th-century and early 19th-century history. She is the national director of the Association of Black Women Historians.
Digital Archivist / Research Project Manager
Jesse Bayker serves as our Digital Archivist and Research Project Manager. He curates the Scarlet and Black Digital Archive and manages our research projects and cross-institutional collaborations through the Universities Studying Slavery consortium, including the New Jersey Slavery Records digital portal. He is a digital humanities practitioner and a scholar of gender, LGBT history, and New Jersey African American history. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University.
Deborah Gray White is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She is a scholar of African American and American women’s history, with a focus on issues of identity and the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality. From 2016 to 2021, she co-directed the research for the three-volume Scarlet and Black book series about the history of race at Rutgers University, laying the cornerstone for the creation of the Scarlet and Black Research Center in 2021. She is now a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at ISGRJ where she continues working with the Scarlet and Black Research Center, particularly with a focus on building a deep and healthy relationship with Black alumni of Rutgers.
Kendra Boyd is an Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University–Camden. She is a scholar of African American history, focusing on 20th-century racial capitalism, Black business, urban history, and migration. She is the co-editor of Scarlet and Black, Volume 2: Constructing Race and Gender at Rutgers, 1865–1945, and has been working with the Scarlet and Black research project since its inception. She is currently leading the Black Camden Oral History Project in collaboration with the Scarlet and Black Research Center and the Rutgers Oral History Archives. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is an Assistant Teaching Professor and Coordinator of Public History at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She is a public historian and scholar of early American social and legal history, with a focus on poverty, mobility, crime, and punishment. She contributes to the public history aspects related to Scarlet and Black, including our historical markers for campus landmarks. She helps create opportunities for undergraduate students to contribute to our work, and we encourage undergraduate students to contact her to discuss the Public History Internship Program. Dr. O’Brassill-Kulfan holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Leicester.
Yesenia Barragan is an Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She specializes in the transnational histories of race, slavery, emancipation, and social movements in Afro-Latin America and the African diaspora in the Americas. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American History from Columbia University. She is the co-convener of the Slavery + Freedom Studies Working Group at ISGRJ.
Graduate Research Assistants
Whitney N. Fields is a Ph.D. Candidate in African American History. She received a B.A. in History and American Studies from the College of William and Mary in 2015. Her dissertation chronicles the incarceration of African Americans in the early nineteenth-century urban North.
Keiara Price is a doctoral student in African American history. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia in History and African American & African Studies. Her dissertation examines enslaved women in the early care economy.
Lindsey Dixon is a doctoral student in the history program, studying Black women’s history and racial violence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She earned her B.A. in political science from Howard University in May 2022.
Isaac J. Guzmán is a doctoral student in the Department of History. His research explores enslaved drivers in the early Black Atlantic. Guzmán received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University in 2021.
Shirley Paxton Fofang is a doctoral student studying 19th century African American history. She graduated with a B.A. from Yale University in History and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration. Her research interests include gradual emancipation, African American emigrationist movements, and the aftereffects of the Haitian Revolution. Shirley is also interested in public history and museums.
Kyra March is a doctoral student in History focusing on African American History and Women’s and Gender History. She received her B.A. in African American Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with a Language Citation in Gullah from Harvard College in 2022. Her research interests are in 19th century Black women’s history, questions around public memory, and public history.
Bea Pearson is a doctoral student in the Department of History focusing on Black women’s early archival (after)lives and Black feminist public history. Bea received a B.A. in History from Wake Forest University in 2022.
Sydney Smith is a doctoral student in the Department of History. Her research interests include 20th-century African American women’s history, Black feminism, motherhood, and Black political thought. She earned her A.B. in Africana Studies and Political Science from Brown University in 2022.