The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will celebrate Black History Month in February with an appearance by Crystal Moten, a public historian, museum curator and author who focuses on the intersection of race, class and gender to uncover the hidden histories of Black people in the Midwest.
Moten will deliver a presentation titled “Continually Working: Black Women's Economic Activism in Postwar Milwaukee” at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Gorecki Center on the CSB campus. The event is free and open to the public with no registration required. It is sponsored by the CSB and SJU history department in partnership with Multicultural Student Services (MSS).
“I’m excited to hear Dr. Moten talk about Black activism in the past and lessons for seeking social change and more equitable communities today,” said Shannon Smith, associate professor of history at CSB and SJU. “It is impossible to understand the United States today without learning African American history, so her work demonstrates how historians reach public audiences with stories of Black achievement, persistence and celebration.”
A Chicago native and recipient of numerous awards and honors, Moten’s research has appeared in books, journals, documentaries and other media. She has taught at colleges and universities across the country and currently works as curator of collections and exhibitions at the Obama Presidential Center. She previously worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Her forthcoming book from Vanderbilt University Press is titled Continually Working: Black Women, Community Intellectualism and Economic Justice in Postwar Milwaukee.
Moten graduated with a degree in anthropology and African and Afro-American studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a master’s and Ph.D. in history and African American studies at the University of Wisconsin. She was an assistant professor of history from 2016-19 at Macalester College.
“What excites me about Dr. Moten’s work is that she’s telling the untold stories of Black Americans in the Midwest and uncovering history that is relevant to us today,” MSS director Malik Stewart said. “I think listeners will be able to connect with the stories she shares in a way that’s unique. These aren’t major figures in Black history, but they’re just as important and just as relevant.”