State of Art: New book examines African American history in Alaska

Six African American soldiers with three halibut circa 1896 to 1913. (William R. Norton/Alaska’s Digital Archives)

From whalers who left port in New Bedford, Massachusetts to soldiers who helped build the Alcan Highway, African Americans have a long history in Alaska. University of Alaska Anchorage history professor Ian Hartman recently released a book called “Black History in the Last Frontier.”

On this week’s State of Art, we’ll hear about Hartman’s new book, learn about some notable people, and what makes Alaska unique when it comes to race relations.

There was just too much good stuff to fit in our broadcast. We learn more about Hartman, his research methods and his Mr. Rogers connection.

Ammon Swenson is Alaska Public Media’s Audio Media Content Producer. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from UAA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and integrated media. He’s previously worked for KRUA radio, the Anchorage Press, and The Northern Light.

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