Dr. Bergeson-Lockwood specializes in African American and nineteenth and twentieth century United States urban, political, and legal history. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 2003 and his master’s degree in 2009 and Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 2011. Before joining George Mason University he was the 2012-2013 postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) at Carnegie Mellon University. He taught previously as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at George Mason from 2011 to 2012.
Dr. Bergeson-Lockwood is currently completing his first book, A Union Among Ourselves: African Americans and Urban Politics in Boston, Massachusetts, 1865-1903. His book focuses on the intersections between urban partisan and civil rights politics from the end of the Civil War through the beginning of the twentieth century. He shows how black men and women organized and exercised political power in the city to challenge traditional power structures. In particular, his book explains how significant portions of Boston’s black electorate were often critical of the Republican Party and shifted support to candidates from other parties, including Democrats. A Union Among Ourselves highlights topics such as black critiques of Reconstruction policy, the pursuit of patronage, the rise of independent politics, coalition building with Irish Bostonians, and the important role black women played as commentators and participants in urban partisan political life. By forcing us to rethink the relationship between grassroots mobilization and the formal political process, Dr. Bergeson-Lockwood’s research illuminates the significance of African American use of established urban political party machinery to advance their struggle for racial equality and full citizenship rights.
In addition to his current project, Dr. Bergeson-Lockwood is beginning a second book that explores the contours of public accommodation discrimination in the nineteenth century. Part of this new work examines challenges to racial discrimination in places of public amusement and explores the centrality of black activism in the evolution of nineteenth-century civil rights law. Drawn from this latest research, his essay, “’We Do Not Care Particularly About the Skating Rinks’: African American Challenges to Public Accommodation Discrimination in Post-Reconstruction Boston, Massachusetts,” won the Best Paper Prize at the Sixth Annual New Perspectives Conference presented by the Triangle African American History Colloquium at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2012.
At George Mason he has taught courses on the United States in the 1960s, African American politics, and themes in US history.