HISTORY: Documenting the Black Experience in the Americas

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HISTORY: Documenting the Black Experience in the Americas

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Assistant Professor of History, Barnard College, New York

Education: Ph.D., History, Columbia University; B.A., History and Classics, Dartmouth College

Age: 31

Dr. Ben Vinson III brings an impressive array of skills and experiences to exploring and documenting the history of Spanish-speaking people of African descent in the Americas. Fluency in Spanish, a thorough grounding in classical literature and history, archaeological experience and world-class training as a historian have enabled Vinson to establish an academic career with considerable promise for groundbreaking work. His work is expected to deepen the burgeoning enterprise of African Diaspora studies as well as Latin American history.

"The study of Blacks in the Americas (outside the United States) is a field that's emerging," Vinson says.

Already, his first book, Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial in Mexico, published last summer by Stanford University Press, is being praised for its insightful analysis and interpretation of previously unexamined historical records of Blacks in Mexico. …