Recorded September 22, 2020
Attucks and the Politics of Liberty & Sovereignty in 18th Century New England reflects on the political conversations that were taking place around the time of the Boston Massacre among white colonists and the African- and Native-descended communities. The Revolutionary period is most often associated with colonists arguing for their rights as British subjects to tax themselves under a locally elected government, but that is only part of the story. Blacks were also seeking to make the case for liberty to end the practice of slavery, while Native peoples continued to reclaim their sovereignty after more than a century of colonial expansion.
- 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
- Chernoh Sesay, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University, author of the forthcoming Black Boston and the Making of African-American Freemasonry: Leadership, Religion, and Community in Early America
- David Silverman, Professor of History at George Washington University, and author of This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and Troubled History of Thanksgiving
- Serena Zabin, Professor of History and Director of the American Studies department at Carleton College, and author of The Boston Massacre: A Family History
Moderated by Nat Sheidley, President & CEO at Revolutionary Spaces
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
- 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 →