Advisory Board

The On These Grounds project is advised by a group of outstanding historians and library and archives workers:

Daina Ramey Berry is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and the Chair of the History Department (the first person of color to take this role). Dr. Berry is a “scholar of the enslaved” and a specialist on gender and slavery as well as Black women’s history in the United States. She is the award-winning author/editor of six books. Her most recent publication, A Black Women’s History of the United States, co-authored with Kali Nicole Gross, is an empowering testament of Black women’s ability to build communities in the face of oppression, and their continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Professor Berry completed her BA, MA, and PhD in African American Studies and U.S. History at the University of California Los Angeles.

Dorothy Berry serves as the Digital Collections Program Manager at Harvard University’s Houghton Library. She received her MLS from Indiana University, as well as a MA from the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology from the same institution, following a BA in Music Performance from Mills College. Previously she worked as the Metadata and Digitization Lead for Umbra Search African American History at University of Minnesota, as a Mellon Fellow at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and also as a graduate assistant at the Black Film Center/Archive and the Archives of African American Music and Culture. In 2020-2021, she was honored with Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” award, and the Society of American Archivists’ Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader award.

Hilary N. Green is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama where she also serves as the co-program director of the African American Studies program. She is the author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham University Press, 2016) and, her article “At Freedom’s Margins: Race, Disability, Violence and the Brewer Orphan Asylum in Southeastern North Carolina, 1865-1872,” received the 2016 Lawrence Brewster Faculty Paper Award from the North Carolina Association of Historians. Each semester she conducts “Hallowed Grounds Tours” on the history of enslavement at the University of Alabama for classes, guests, and the general public. She earned her PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MA in History from Tufts University, and BA in History with minors in Africana Studies and Pre-Healing Arts from Franklin and Marshall College.

Leslie M. Harris is Professor of History and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A specialist in Pre-Civil War African American history, she has authored or co-edited five books, including In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City (2003) and most recently Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (2019, with James T. Campbell and Alfred L. Brophy). Harris has also participated in a number of public history projects, including the award-winning Slavery in New York exhibition (2005-2007) at the New-York Historical Society, and the accompanying book (with Ira Berlin); the re-interpretation of the urban slave quarters at Telfair Museum’s Owens-Thomas House in Savannah, Georgia, which included the edited volume Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (2013, with Daina Ramey Berry); and the interactive website “People Not Property” with Historic Hudson Valley (New York, 2019). She is currently working on Leaving New Orleans: A Personal Urban History, which uses memoir and family, urban and environmental histories to explore the multiple meanings of New Orleans in the nation, from its founding through its uncertain future amid climate change.

Harris received her undergraduate degree at Columbia and her doctoral degree at Stanford. Before moving to Northwestern, she taught for 21 years at Emory University. Her work has been supported by the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas, and the University of Maryland.

Sony Prosper is a PhD student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. His interests are broadly the social, cultural, and historical contexts of intangible cultural heritage, archival practices, recordkeeping practices, and technology use, particularly in the U.S. and the Caribbean. He formerly worked at the University of Virginia Library and Tufts University Digital Collection & Archives. He holds an MLIS (Archives Management concentration) from Simmons University and a BA in History from Mercer University.

Holly A. Smith is the College Archivist at Spelman College. She received her B.A. in History and Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, an M.A. in History from Yale University, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. She co-authored the article “This [Black] Woman’s Work: Exploring Archival Projects that Embrace the Identity of the Memory Worker” (KULA Journal) and authored the piece “Radical Love: Documenting Underrepresented Communities Using Principles of Radical Empathy” (Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists). Holly is interested in archival intersections among black feminists/writers/activists and archival advocacy for historically under documented communities.

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