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Telling HistoriesBlack Women Historians in the Ivory Tower$
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Deborah Gray White

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832011

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889121_white

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Looking Backward in Order to Go Forward

Looking Backward in Order to Go Forward

Black Women Historians and Black Women's History

(p.182) Looking Backward in Order to Go Forward
Telling Histories

Mia Bay

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses Mia Bay's motivations for becoming a historian of African American history and why they may be hard to explain. Bay did not grow up in the United States. Her family moved to Canada when she was five years old and she lived there, and at times in Northern Europe, until she was twenty-five, at which point she returned to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in history at Yale University. Bay's years in junior high school, high school, and college took place in the polyglot multiethnic world of Toronto, where neither African Americans nor African American history had much meaning. Moreover, from the age of five onward, Bay spent more time in her Norwegian father's faraway homeland than she ever did in the United States. African American history is, in certain ways, not her history—yet it called her all the same.

Keywords:   Mia Bay, historian, African American history, multiethnic world, Toronto, African Americans

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