African & African American Studies Professor Publishes Book

Michael B. Boston recently published a book titled Blacks in Niagara Falls, 1850 to 1985, covering Black Niagaran history from the Underground Railroad to the Era of Urban Renewal.

It covers Black Niagaran history from the Underground Railroad to the Era of Urban Renewal.  Due to a limited primary and secondary source base, the author immersed himself in the Black Niagaran community for a number of years, recording sixty-two formal interviews and over eighty informal interviews, which allowed him to obtain “the voice of the people.” 

This study contributes to urban histography in two significant ways: It is a history of a racial group in a small city.  Most African American urban studies are on large cities.  And the author’s interviews or “inside-out approach” goes beyond traditional methods of historical research (e.g., archival data, newspapers, census reports, government documents, city maps, etc.) to tell a history that is vibrant and multidimensional.

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