“Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America” by MIT Assistant Professor Vivek Bald particularly focuses on the arrival Muslims from what is now Bangladesh. The book was in part inspired by the family of Alaudin Ullah, a New York-based actor and playwright. Ullah’s family came on a ship from East Bengal, landed in Boston and made their way to New York.
Other South Asians came from India and Pakistan. Some married into African-American and Puerto Rican families. Today, many African-Americans, and Americans of Puerto Rican descent, have South Asian ancestors.
“The project aims to provide a collectively produced digital archive for contemporary working-class and Muslim South Asian communities, which have grown in the US and are continuing to grow,” Bald today India West.