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Brian Purnell, PhD

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Brian Purnell is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. 


His scholarship falls generally within the field of US history with specific concentrations in African American history, urban history, and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. 

Born and raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, much of his work centers around the legacy of racial activism in New York City. 

His first book, Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings: The Congress of Racial Equality in Brooklyn (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), won the New York State Historical Association’s Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize. In 2019 he was the co-editor (with Jeanne Theoharis) of The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle Outside of the South (NYU Press).

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