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Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America

UPDATE: This event is SOLD OUT. No additional names will be added to the confirmed or wait list at this time.

We celebrate the release of Vivek Bald’s (PhD, NYU American Studies, 2009) much anticipated Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America with a multimedia book talk. Bald skillfully retraces the history of early 20th-century South Asian migration through the little-known stories of Indian Muslim peddlers who sold embroidered silks in the U.S. South and seamen who jumped ship in northeastern ports to work in factories and restaurants onshore. From Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit’s Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem, Bald’s narrative reveals the remarkable lives of these immigrants who became part of some of the most iconic neighborhoods of color in the U.S.

The program will feature a performance by actor and playwright Aladdin Ullah, whose father’s own migration history inspired Bald’s research, a screening of an excerpt of Bald and Ullah’s documentary film in-progress, In Search of Bengali Harlem, and a reading from Bald’s fascinating new book. With remarks from Andrew Ross and Jack Tchen.

 
Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 5, 2013 using the form below. Reservations are also accepted via phone (212.992.9653).

Co-sponsored by the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU Institute of African American Affairs, NYU Department of History, South Asia@NYU, NYU Bengali Students Association, NYU Islamic Center, and Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. 

Vivek Bald is Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the director of three documentary films: Taxi-vala/Auto-biography, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music, and In Search of Bengali Harlem (forthcoming). More information can be found at bengaliharlem.com.
Photo credit: Paul Gregory Abbott
Photo credit: Paul Gregory Abbott

Aladdin Ullah has been pioneering the past decade as one of the very first South Asians to perform stand-up comedy on national television on networks such as: HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and PBS. He is the co-founder and host of the multi-ethnic stand-up show Colorblind, which Mel Watkins of the New York Times hailed as “hilarious, thought provoking and ground breaking.” Aladdin is a Recipient of the Paul Robeson development grant to produce a documentary called In Search of Bengali Harlem, which inspired the Vivek Bald’s Bengali Harlem (Harvard Press).

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: 5 Washington Place
Address:
5 Washington Place, Room 101
New York, NY 10003 United States
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