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Professional Summary

Niya Bates is a PhD candidate in History with a certificate in African American Studies at Princeton University. She studies 19th and 20th century Black history, global environmental history, and rural cultural landscapes in the United States - particularly resistance to slavery in Appalachia. Other research interests include descendant communities, Black material culture and landscapes, Black people in wine & spirits, and the Black museum and historic preservation movement.


Niya earned both a B.A. in African and African American Studies and an M.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia. She holds a certificate in historic preservation, also from UVA. Her master’s thesis, titled “Blurred Lines: African American Community, Memory, and Preservation in the Southwest Mountains Rural Historic District,” explores historic preservation policy and the exclusion of rural Black communities in formal approaches to preserving America’s built environment. Prior to becoming a student at Princeton, she was a public historian at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello where she was director of the Getting Word African American Oral History Project, which was designed to document oral histories of people descended from the enslaved communities at Monticello.


 National Register Nominations   Public Speaking   Documentation  

 Archival Research    Social Media    Media Appearances    Oral History  Advocacy

Work & Education

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