Crystal Lynn Webster is an award-winning historian and educator. She is Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on Black children in early America. Her book, Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North (UNC Press, 2021), is a social history of African American children and foregrounds their lives as fundamental to the process of the North’s prolonged transition from slavery to freedom. The book won the Library Company of Philadelphia Biennial First Book Prize. Webster is currently writing her second book, tentatively titled Condemned: How America’s First Courts and Prisons Terrorized Black Children. Additionally, her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Black Perspectives.
Her research has been supported by the Association of American University Women, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. She received first place writing awards from the National Council for Black Studies and the Association of Black Women Historians, and the 2022 Maria Stewart Award for best article in African American Intellectual History.
Webster was raised in Arizona and received her BA in Africana Studies with honors at Oberlin College. She received her MA and PhD at the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her Dissertation received the Esther Terry Award for distinguished dissertation in Afro-American Studies. She has taught at Umass Amherst, Hampshire College, and the University of Texas, San Antonio.
She currently resides with her partner and two kids in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.