Black History Today: A Profile of Historian Crystal Feimster





Crystal Feimster went to college thinking she was going to be an attorney. The legal profession’s loss was history’s gain. While she was still an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina, Feimster met a string of distinguished African-American historians who made history exciting, including Tera Hunter, Darlene Clark Hine and Clayborne Carson....

Today, Feimster, 38, is at the forefront of a new wave of black historians exploring the forgotten nooks and crannies of American history. This fall, she will move from Princeton, where she has been a visiting professor, to a position in the Department of African-American Studies at Yale University. She is married to Australian historian Daniel Bottsman, whose work centers on Japan.

Feimster’s academic focus is racial and sexual violence; currently, she is completing a project on rape during the American Civil War. She says that both Confederate and Union soldiers targeted black women. Many Northern soldiers, angry at having to serve in the war to free blacks, took out their resentments by raping black women in the South. “I’m finding there was a moment where white people, Southern and Northern, were able to see black people as victims,” she says....

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network