8 January 2015 — May 2016
African Meeting House, Museum of African American History, Boston MA
This exhibition and complementary programming examine historical and cultural implications of learning to read and write, as well as publishing the works of free and formerly enslaved African American voices.
Free black communities from Boston and beyond began sharing books, newspapers, periodicals, poems, and other writings to advance campaigns for freedom from the Colonial period through the 19th century and for personal expression and enjoyment.
These pioneering wordsmiths continue to inspire gifted writers to use their published works as agents for social change. To celebrate their passion for free speech and draw parallels across the ages, Black Books places 18th- and 19th-century African American authors from the Museum’s collection of rare books in dialogue with more contemporary works.
The exhibit and programs feature a wide array of selected genres, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, medicine, military experience, sociology, and music. Lead partners: National Park Service, Boston African American National Historic Site and Suffolk University’s Mildred F. Sawyer Library, where the Museum’s book collection is housed.
More information can be found here.