Land, Wealth, Liberation Launch Event

Thank you for visiting our digital resource - Land, Wealth, Liberation: The Making & Unmaking of Black Wealth in the United States. This event took place at the Lilly Library on March 24th at 6 pm with a pop-up exhibit open for the duration of the event featuring Lilly Library material, Education Library material, and artists books from the Herman B Wells Libray collection shown by Sarah Carter and Edwin Cheek. The feature of the event was a roundtable conversation featuring Dr. Valerie Grim and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman.  A recording of selected portions of the roundtable conversation will be made available soon. 

This digital resource highlights events from 1820-2020 exploring how African Americans have worked within US society to produce and maintain wealth through land ownership, and the factors that have affected the abilities of African Americans to build wealth and access economic opportunities. Scholarly and archival sources, prioritizing open-access material, are included. IU Libraries invites instructors to utilize and build on this resource as part of their pedagogy. If you are interested in doing this, please email IUScholarWorks.

Valerie Grim

Dr. Valerie Grim presented Struggles in Building Black Wealth.  She is a CRRES affiliate and Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington where she is also the current Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

As a scholar, Dr. Grim researches and publishes in the area of twentieth and twenty-first centuries African American rural history. View her research collection featuring a selection of her contributions to leading journals, anthologies, and edited volumes at IUScholarWorks. Dr. Grim's research focuses on the needs of African Americans in rural America and efforts to help them achieve full democratic participation and engagement with federal farm and rural development policies and programs.

Dr. Grim holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Iowa State University and received the undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, a Historically Black College located in Tougaloo, Mississippi. She has engaged in diverse committee work in and outside of the academy. These efforts have spanned more than 30 years and over 60 different committees, many of which involved engagement with students and collaborations with academic and living communities throughout the United States and Africa.

During her thirty-year career as a scholar, an academic leader, public intellectual, and social activist, Grim has worked as a consultant, researcher, and field producer on numerous museum, film, and creative projects as well as rural history and development workshops.  

Anna Gifty

In the 2022 Institute for Advanced Study’s Branigin Lecture, Scholar-activist and author Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman discussed Race & Gender in the Economy. She explained how even if your demographics are different studying economic solutions that benefit black women, who are often the most marginalized group in the economy, is an ideal proxy for finding solutions the most vulnerable in your particular region.  Her black women first approach asserts that the best outcomes for the most vulnerable result in better outcomes for everyone.

Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is the co-founder of the only non-profit organization addressing the pipeline and pathway problem for Black women in fields of economics, finance, and policy. In her book "The Black Agenda" Opoku-Agyeman features Black voices across economics, education, health, climate, and technology, all speaking to the question "What's Next?" as it pertains to centering Black people in policy matters in our country. As we collectively reckon with the aftermath of the pandemic, and finally begin to face the deep-rootedness of racism in this country, her work is empowering, exciting, and indispensable for the new world we’re building.

Many thanks to our sponsors and partners, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library, the Lilly Library, the Herman B Wells Library, the Center for Research on Race & Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library Power of Words Committee and the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library Marian Armstrong 'Our Voice' Exhibit Committee.

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