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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kevin McGruder to Publish Book on Philip Payton, the Father of Harlem

Dr. Kevin McGruder, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of History at Antioch College, has recently completed his second, sole-authored book, Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem, which will be published next year by Columbia University Press. The book focuses on the life and successes of Philip A. Payton, Jr. who formed the Afro-American Realty Company in 1903 and, through the media, branded Harlem as a place where black people could live and assembled black investors to begin buying property in the then-predominately white, urban area. It is a follow-up to Kevin’s 2015 book, Race and Real Estate: Conflict and Cooperation in Harlem, 1890 to 1920, and stems from his longheld interest in community formation and urban history. 

Previously, he worked for many years in nonprofit community development, holding positions such as Program Director at Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Director of Real Estate Development with the Abyssinian Development Corporation, as well as embarking on two entrepreneurial ventures that helped celebrate Harlem. 

Kevin was also recently featured in the PBS documentary Trump’s path to the presidency—and the remaking of the Republican Party, where he reflects on Donald Trump’s history with racial issues and how racist stereotypes helped him during his campaign and presidency. 

Photo credits: Audrey Hackett, Kevin McGruder

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Hello! My name is Sara Marsh and I am a second-year Antioch student who is currently serving as the editor for Antioch Engaged during the 2021-2022 school year. I am originally from Lexington, Kentucky and I am planning on pursuing a degree in psychology.

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