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Weekend Symposium Will Highlight Boston’s African American History

African American Studies Program celebrates 40 years


The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences African American Studies Program is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a symposium this weekend honoring Adelaide Cromwell (Hon.’95), a College of Arts & Sciences professor emerita, who established the program in 1969.

African Americans in Boston: From Slavery to Today will open with a reception tonight, April 24, at 7 p.m., followed by an academic program on Saturday, April 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, April 26, a brunch at 11 a.m. and a private tour of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) exhibition at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at 1:30 p.m.

Lectures include Eastern Massachusetts and the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, Northern School Integration: Boston’s Operation Exodus, and Black Entrepreneurs of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

Students in the course From Slavery to Freedom: Abolition in Comparative Perspective have created an exhibit titled From the “Body of Liberties” to Liberated Bodies: Black Boston from the 1630s to the 1850s, which will be showcased at the symposium.

“These students have done an incredible amount of work — finding images, doing research on important legal cases and Massachusetts law, and narrating the important milestones for this period,” says Neta C. Crawford, a CAS professor of African American studies, who teaches the course.

African Americans in Boston: From Slavery to Today begins on Friday, April 24, and ends on Sunday, April 26. All events (unless otherwise noted) will take place at the Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s St., and are open to the public. The academic program on Saturday costs $10 for BU students and $20 for faculty, staff, and friends. Admission to other events is free. To see a schedule of the weekend’s events, or for more information about the conference, click here.

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