Karen Sieber is a historian specializing in community history, social justice history, labor history, business history, and Black history. Her interdisciplinary research, curatorial work, and consulting projects connect the public with the tools necessary to better understand, preserve and share the history, art, and culture all around them. As a nonprofit professional, she has helped cultural institutions meet their missions through strategic planning, immersive programming and exhibitions, donor and board relationship building, storytelling, and organizational sustainability.
Click a menu item above or linked text below to read publications, watch interviews, view exhibits, and more.
Her research and writing has been featured in or cited by the American Historical Association, the National Council for Public History, Jacobin, PBS, The Conversation, Smithsonian magazine, and the recent Gayle King CBS special “Tulsa 1921: An American Tragedy,” as well as numerous academic journals. She is best known as the creator of Visualizing the Red Summer, the most comprehensive archive and classroom resource on the Red Summer of 1919, with users in over 100 countries. The site is part of the core curriculum in the controversial new AP African American Studies course currently in its pilot period, and is a featured resource of the National Archives, National History Day, National Council on Public History, and American Historical Association among others. She has consulted as a researcher for television shows and media outlets, and has curated numerous museum exhibits nationwide, including “H is For Hayti” about the thriving Black community in Durham, North Carolina, largely destroyed during urban renewal.
She is currently working on three entirely separate veins of research: exploring the origins of class field trips and experiential place-based education in America; delving into the intellectual and artistic lives of hobos; and examining collective bargaining among Black sharecroppers and workers in the lumber and sugarcane industries in the late nineteenth-century South.