In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a wave of mostly illiterate Muslim men from Bengali villages arrived in the U.S., settling in neighborhoods like Tremé in New Orleans and Harlem in New York.
Many formed multi-ethnic families after marrying African American, Puerto Rican and Creole women. Their story has remained largely untold until now.
“Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America” by Vivek Bald, an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was published by Harvard University Press in January.
Mr. Bald tells The Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time how he ended up uncovering this lost history.