See how events in our backyard have shaped the entire nation. Trace the ideals of the Revolution through Independence, abolition, struggles for civil rights, and into the present day.
Discover compelling people who made a difference at Old South Meeting House and the history of protest and free speech that continues to this day.
The largest meeting space colonial Boston, this room was host to thousands of people leading to the Boston Tea Party, and has been a steadfast haven for free speech for almost three centuries.
We think of the Boston Massacre as the start of the American Revolution. In Jeffers’s hands, it becomes a moment to call out the hypocrisy of white colonists in comfortable circumstances who protested their “enslavement” by the British even as they held Blacks in bondage.
After she had achieved international fame, Phillis Wheatley met and married John Peters, a free Black man. In this deeply romantic pair of poems, Jeffers imagines their relationship.
Elizabeth Freeman helped to end slavery in Massachusetts through a lawsuit she filed in 1781. In this poem, Jeffers imagines her speaking to the profound injustice of being forced to seek her freedom in a system where only white men could argue her case and living in a world in which a Black person’s word was rarely taken as truth on its own terms.
As Phillis Wheatley sought to publish her first book, there were many who doubted that an enslaved Black woman was capable of such an accomplishment. Jeffers here imagines the courage it likely took 20-year-old Wheatley to face down their judgment and manage the balancing act of intellect and subservience that was likely required to secure their approval.
In this pairing of poems, Jeffers imagines a first accidental meeting of Obour Tanner and Phillis Wheatley. The two women shared the traumatic experience of enslavement and the perilous Middle Passage, and the challenge of holding on to their identities as African women even as their masters demanded that they build new lives in New England without reference to their pasts.
Jeffers imagines Wheatley Peters’ thoughts at the moment of her baptism, which might have included a mix of joy at a deepened connection with Christ and frustration at the church’s treatment of African Americans.
Attucks likely interacted with Bostonians of African descent who were pressing for their freedom before the Revolution.