Eric K. Washington

I am a New York City-based independent historian and author. I am a Columbia University's Community Scholars Fellow 2014-2017, a CUNY Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellow 2015-2016, and a Fellow in Residence of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Brown Foundation's Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France, 2017.
My book, Boss of the Grips: The Life of  James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal (Liveright/W.W. Norton), a biography of a once influential Harlem Renaissance-era labor figure, was honored with the 2020 Herbert H. Lehman Prize and as a 2020 Brendan Gill Prize Finalist. The locale of my first book, Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem (Arcadia), inspired my interpretive signage in West Harlem Piers Park, a design project awarded the Municipal Art Society's 2010 MASterworks Award.
I am the owner of Tagging-the-Past, which endeavors to reconnect forgotten history to present landscapes through articles, talks and tours. My research on Harlem & Manhattanville, Trinity Church Cemetery and Upper Manhattan is featured prominently in Phillip Lopate’s Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan, and in Jonathan R. Wynn’s The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York. I am the recipient of Photographer's Forum Best of Photography Awards and iPhone Photography Award.


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