Historian Brown to Speak at Medford’s Royall House

Lois Brown

Lois Brown

Lois Brown, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of African American Studies and English, will be the featured speaker at the annual “Giving Voice” program to benefit the Royall House and Slave Quarters from 3 to 5 p.m. June 8 on the museum grounds at 15 George St. in Medford, Mass.

The title of Brown’s talk — “Marked with the furrows of time: Belinda, the Royalls and Accounts of Freedom” — refers to the 18th century petition of Belinda, a woman enslaved for more than 50 years by the Royall family, for financial support in post-Revolutionary Massachusetts.

“As her commentary in The Abolitionists clearly demonstrated, Lois Brown has the ability to bring historical figures to life,” says Peter Gittleman, co-president of the Board of the Royall House and Slave Quarters. “Her work resonates strongly with our efforts at the Royall House and Slave Quarters to interpret northern colonial slavery and its immediate aftermath. Our organization’s mission is to explore the meanings of freedom and independence, and Belinda’s story exemplifies the complexity of those concepts for formerly enslaved individuals. ”

Brown’s scholarship and research focus on African American and New England literary history and culture. In addition to scholarly essays on memory, race, and antislavery literature and practice, she is the author of Pauline Hopkins: Black Daughter of the Revolution and the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Literary Renaissance.

She has held several prestigious research fellowships, has curated exhibitions at Boston’s Museum of African American History and at the Boston Public Library, and recently served as a scholarly contributor to the American Experience documentary series, The Abolitionists, on PBS.

“Giving Voice” is one of the many public programs sponsored each year by the Royall House and Slave Quarters.  In addition to Brown’s talk, the afternoon will also feature music, house tours, museum exhibits and refreshments.

Tickets are $35 for members and will be available at the door. For more information see this link.

Olivia Drake

Olivia (M.A.L.S. '08) is editor of the Wesleyan Connection newsletter and campus photographer. I have two dogs, five chickens and 30 house plants. I like snow, photographing firemen and enjoying "stinky" cheeses. Send me your story ideas to newsletter@wesleyan.edu. 

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