Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey


I am a historian of the twentieth-century United States who studies the historical intersections of the United States, Canada, and the African Diaspora. My dissertation, “From the North Star to the Black Star: African North Americans and the Search for a Land of Promise, 1919-1985,” won numerous prizes.

My manuscript, Cross-Border Cosmopolitans: The Making of a Pan-African North America, 1919-1992, situates fundamental questions of twentieth-century U.S. history—immigration, civil rights, racial identity, radicalism, surveillance and state power—within a North American diasporic frame. It exposes the connective tissues that tie twentieth-century North American Pan-Africanism to the Great Migration and its antecedent, the Underground Railroad. It integrates and juxtaposes community-building and freedom struggles in the United States and Canada, while remaining attuned to the influence of the Caribbean Basin as a site of anti-colonial resistance and a source of activists who imported a Commonwealth, class, and color consciousness to the North American mainland. Cross-Border Cosmopolitans provides one of the first historical accounts of how the U.S. and Canadian governments colluded to undermine black citizenship.

I am interested broadly in Social and Cultural History, African (North) American History, Chattel Slavery in the Americas, Urban History, post-Reconstruction Black Labor, Black Internationalism, Black Nationalism, Surveillance and Counter-Subversion, Immigration, Deportation, and Civil and Human Rights.

I have forthcoming publications on the power of petitions during the Civil Rights Movement, as well as an edited journal.

Photography by Daniel Vieira

At Yale University, I held the following distinctions concurrently: Edla J. McPherson, Falk Foundation, and Felix G. Evangelist Fellowships. My research has garnered fellowships from many institutions, some of which include:

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada
Visiting Scholar-Senior Resident Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto
SHASS Visiting Scholar and Pre-Doctoral Fellow at MIT