Recorded June 15, 2021
The award-winning book The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers works to transform our understanding of 18th century Boston by imagining the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters, the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry. Revolutionary Spaces has commissioned a series of short films called Imagining the Age of Phillis, featuring Boston-based actors performing excerpts at the Old South Meeting House and Old State House, sites linked to the poems.
Directed by John Oluwole ADEkoje and produced by Patrick Gabridge of Plays in Place, these films capture the stories of figures like Wheatley Peters, Crispus Attucks, the first to fall at the Boston Massacre, and Elizabeth Freeman, whose petition for her freedom helped end slavery in Massachusetts. The full collection of films will be available beginning the week of June 7.
This online panel brings together ADEkoje, Jeffers, and Gabridge to discuss the films and the relevance of these Revolutionary-era figures today.
- John Oluwole ADEkoje is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. He recently received the Emerging Filmmaker Award for his feature Knockaround Kids at the Roxbury International Film Festival. ADEkoje is also the co-director and director of photography for the digital version of Hype Man (Company One/American Repertory Theatre), and the writer, director, and projection/art designer for the Triggered Life Project (Portland Playhouse).
- Patrick Gabridge is a playwright, novelist, and screenwriter whose work has been read and produced around the world. With his company Plays in Place he creates new site-specific plays in partnership with museums and historic sites, including Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston’s Old State House, Old South Meeting House, and Roosevelt-Campobello International Park.
- Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a Professor of English at University of Oklahoma. Her book The Age of Phillis, based on the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters, was long-listed for the 2020 National Book Award in Poetry and won the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.
This event is generously supported in part by the New England Women’s Club Fund at the Boston Foundation.
Recent Online Events
- Writing Plays of the Past and FuturePlaywrights discuss their plays in the Huntington’s Dream Boston series, what it means to make art during a pandemic, and the role that history and art play in processing current events.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 →
- Video | Boston’s Activists of Color: A Historical Tour & Contemporary ConversationView a short film about anti-slavery activists in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood during the 19th-century Abolitionist Movement, followed by a conversation with one of these activists’ descendants.Read more →
- Video | Man of Many Worlds Online PanelA lively discussion about Attucks’s Afro-Indian community and reflect on the experiences he might have had that informed his thinking about resistance and protest and ultimately brought him to King Street on the night of the Boston Massacre.Read more →