Congratulations to Associate Professor of History Libra Hilde, who has been awarded a 2017-2018 residential fellowship in the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University! During the fellowship Professor Hilde will complete her latest book, “Our Father”: Slavery and Fatherhood in the American South. This book explores what it meant to be an enslaved man and a father. For too long, the discussion of masculinity within slavery has conflated manhood with heroic resistance. Some enslaved men openly rebelled, but a far greater number chose a subtle form of resistance as caretakers and community leaders. The institution of slavery denied enslaved men patriarchal prerogatives, but the slave community invested fatherhood with meaning and articulated a robust sense of what it meant to be a husband and father. By telling the story of the often quietly heroic efforts that enslaved and free men undertook to be fathers, Professor Hllde’s book offers a counterpoint to the dominant narratives about the pathology of the African American family and absent Black fathers.
Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Sociology Faustina DuCros, who has been awarded a Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation! Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Career Enhancement Fellowship Program seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented junior faculty who are committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The program allows exceptional junior faculty to pursue scholarly research and writing during their fellowship period in an effort to facilitate the acquisition of tenure. DuCros received a year-long fellowship: June 2017 to June 2018.
DuCros’ fellowship project is entitled “Louisiana Migrants in California Oral History Project.” Louisianans were among millions of Black southerners who left their home region during the second phase of the Great Migration. The study documents the migration stream of Louisianans to California, and investigates migrants’ experiences creating community and identity in their destination. Like Southern California (the site of the study’s first phase), the San Francisco Bay Area was a significant destination for Black Louisiana migrants. Though Los Angeles’ Black population was numerically larger, the Bay Area’s Black population ballooned at much higher rates than Los Angeles’ during the World War II period, and cities like Oakland had higher proportions of Black residents. Different neighborhood contexts create variation in how members of racial and ethnic groups construct identities. Thus, the second phase of DuCros’ research — oral history interviews with first- and second-generation Louisianans who helped grow the Bay Area’s Black population at the height of the Great Migration — comparatively elucidates the role of local places in identity construction and documents the community-making experiences of Louisianans in this distinct destination.