Margo Jefferson in conversation with Professor Karen Hunter

Margo Jefferson in conversation with Professor Karen Hunter

Book Discussions

Margo Jefferson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, spoke about her childhood in upper-crust black Chicago — her father was head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite, as well as her life among “the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society.” Jefferson discussed the way in which these inhabitants of Negroland, have stood apart since the 19th century, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”

Hilton Als has called Negroland a “masterpiece—a phenomenal study-cum-memoir about the black bourgeoisie… Jefferson has lived and worked like the great reporter she is, traversing a little-known or -understood landscape peopled by blacks and whites, dreamers and naysayers, the privileged and the strivers who make up the mosaic known as America.”

More about the program