Recorded November 10, 2020
African American leaders in late 19th century Boston fought to create a lasting monument to Crispus Attucks on Boston Common. They forged a broad coalition of supporters, including Irish American leaders, and ultimately prevailed in creating a monument to Attucks and the other victims of the Boston Massacre, whom opponents cast as “hoodlums, rioters and ruffians.”
Monumental Attucks explores the story of the monument’s creation, and reflect on how monuments bring us together and when they drive us apart.
- Robert Bellinger, Associate Professor of History at Suffolk University, and author of Monuments, Memorials and Historic Sites, New England’s Visible Black History in Photographs
- Millington W. Bergeson-Lockwood, author of Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late 19th Century Boston
- Mitch Kachun, Professor Emeritus of History at Western Michigan University, and author of First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory
- Byron Rushing, former Massachusetts State Representative and past president of the Museum of Afro-American History.
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.
Digital Exclusive Reflecting Attucks Content
- VIDEO | Grief, Remembrance, JusticeAn 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 →
- 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 →
- Video | Discovering Crispus – A Play in ProcessExploring how the memory of Attucks has inspired generations of activists to fight for social change.Read more →
- Fighting for TomorrowWhat does the memory of Crispus Attucks mean to us today?Read more →