Craig Steven Wilder is the chair of MIT's history department and has written three books including his most recent, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.
He began his career as a community organizer in the South Bronx while attending Fordham University and earned his Ph.D. in urban history at Columbia University. Wilder has taught at Williams and Dartmouth Colleges, advises community and social organizations and provides curricular and professional development workshops with public school teachers in low-income areas of New York City. He is also a senior fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative.
Wilder's contribution to the arts includes serving as curator for national and regional exhibitions at the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Chicago History Museum and serving as a contributor to significant documentaries including Ken Burns' Central Park Five and Kelly Anderson's My Brooklyn.
I speak with Wilder about what shapes his intellectual, civic and artistic passions, how he learned to honor and articulate sometimes tough historical matters and why the prestige of the early American university rested on the propagation of slavery and racial inferiority.