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Alexis Coe 


Thank you to Professor Deirdre Cooper Owens & author @karen_abbott for joining me @the.wing to talk about lady spies during the Civil War!

Do not fuck with Abigail Adams' plans to enroll a black servant she's been tutoring for years in a white school right before she's supposed to move into the White House, because she will not stutter. (Go to the Lenny website to read because there's still no good way to post content here 🤷🏻‍♀️)

Topic asked me to figure out the history behind "to be young, gifted and black," and the story I tell in today's newsletter (will forward!) is about two brilliant women: friends, artists, and activists Nina Simone & Lorriane Hansberry. (Up on the website soon!)

The first question I asked Jennifer Egan was whether or not she had used oral histories from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, ones I had processed in 2008, during my very first month as a graduate school intern at the Brooklyn Historical Society. I'd found details throughout her novel because, as it turns out, she'd conducted the damn interviews. I look forward to seeing this origin story reprinted in the many forthcoming essays about our storied literary friendship. (In a few weeks, after they upload a video of the discussion to YouTube, you can hear me say to the Pulitzer winning author, "I do hope you find your calling," followed by a harrowing second of silence before 300 people erupted in laughter.)

I baked a pumpkin cake for Amina, my most frequent dinner guest in 2017, and every year to follow. ❤️

I know how it looks. You think it's dad history, tomes purchased by default on Father's Day—a mark of pride to the “size matters” demographic who see virtue in page count. But I argue that it's a palliative for the Trump era in the New Yorker, where I also use words like frenemy and whore--you know, typical boring history class stuff.

Baby's first twitter fight! These accounts are dull and dumb, but worst of all, often very wrong, meaning hundreds of thousands of followers spread #fakenews. But it's not all bad! I point to ten better places to get your xxx pics. #history

Park Slope man caught being a Park Slope man.

New office

Jennifer Egan researched her new book at the Brooklyn Historical Society & I got my start in public history there, so naturally it's where we'll meet and become the best of friends. Join us!

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