Recorded September 16, 2020
Attucks: A Man of Many Worlds unpacks what we know about Crispus Attucks’s time and place. He lived in a world where many people were descended from both Native and African peoples that had much in common, including enslavement at the hands of white colonists. With this background, Attucks would have had a deep understanding of British oppression, and how his community fought back. And as a mariner going through the port of Boston, he would have encountered people both Black and white making the case for liberty and freedom in louder and more certain terms.
- Kerri Greenidge, Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University, and author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
- Jared Hardesty, Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University, and author of Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England
- Chris Newell, Executive Director and Senior Partner to Wabanaki Nations for the Smithsonian-affiliate Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, and a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township
Reflecting Attucks is a virtual exhibit that explores the memory of Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native descent who was the first to die at the Boston Massacre, an act of protest widely viewed as a turning point on the road to American Revolution.
Over the next several months, we will delve into Attucks’s world and look at how generations of Americans have seen their own reflection in the image of Attucks standing in the face of fierce opposition. By remembering him as a martyr, leader and courageous fighter, they fueled freedom movements that changed the course of history.
More from Reflecting Attucks
- Grief, Remembrance, JusticeMAR 5: An exploration of how our memories of the legendary Boston activist Melnea Cass can help us channel grief into a call for lasting change.Read more →
- VIDEO | Attucks and the Birth of a NationJAN 27: How William Monroe Trotter, a prominent Black Boston activist, protested the white nationalist film by invoking the memory of Crispus Attucks.Read more →
- VIDEO | Monumental AttucksNOV 10: African American leaders in late 19th century Boston fought to create a lasting monument to Crispus Attucks on Boston Common.Read more →
- VIDEO | Demanding Freedom: Attucks and the Abolition Movement19th presented Attucks as the first martyr of the Revolution who died fighting for liberty, an image that resonated powerfully with those seeking emancipation for African Americans.Read more →
- Video | Imagining AttucksExplores how Attucks has been interpreted through the years and grapples with the challenges that come with bringing Attucks to life.Read more →
- Video | Liberty & Sovereignty in 18th Century New EnglandExamining the political conversations that were taking place around the time of the Boston Massacre among white colonists and the African- and Native-descended communities.Read more →