ON March 5, 1858, William C. Nell led a protest in Boston in the form of a massive history lesson. Though the city had discontinued annual public commemorations of the Boston Massacre in 1783, declaring that all the events of the Revolutionary period would henceforth be celebrated on July 4th, Nell resurrected the earlier date, insisting that a revised observance of local history was a fitting rebuttal to the United States Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision on its first anniversary. In response to the government's denial of Black citizenship, Nell organized a festival in honor of Crispus Attucks, a Bostonian of African and Wampanoag descent, the first American life sacrificed for the nation's independence. Nell marshaled a crowd at Faneuil Hall, near the site that the ship Desire docked in 1638 when it brought the first enslaved Africans to New England and, in our own time, a popular tourist attraction...
Introduction On the Histories and Futures of Black New England Studies
Kerri Greenidge is the Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University and a member of the Editorial Board.
Holly Jackson is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston and an associate editor of the Quarterly.
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Kerri Greenidge, Holly Jackson; Introduction On the Histories and Futures of Black New England Studies. The New England Quarterly 2022; 95 (2): 107–114. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/tneq_a_00938
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