Presented by Jennifer A. Lemak, Chief Curator of History, New York State Museum
Learn more about the history and legacy of Albany’s Rapp Road Community. Members of the Rapp Road Community moved from Mississippi during the first half of the 20th century and have made a lasting impact on Albany.
Prior to my current position as the chief curator of history, I served as the senior historian/curator of social history for a decade. My major exhibition and publication projects include Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (2017) and An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War (2012). I am also the author of Southern Life, Northern City: The History of Albany’s Rapp Road (SUNY Press, 2008), which focused on a community that migrated to Albany from Shubuta, Mississippi, and the greater migration experience in Albany.
My on-going research projects are on different ends of the history-content spectrum. Since the suffrage centennial in 2020, I have been researching the history of the Equal Rights Amendment in New York State. Additionally, I am studying the influence New Yorkers had on Mark Twain’s life and writing.
Chief Curator of History, New York State Museum, and New York History journal co-editor, New York Academy of History Fellow (inducted 2014), New York State Historic Preservation Board member, University at Albany Center for Applied Historical Research board member.