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Race in the Public Dialogue: The Power and Presence of Women in the Civil War

Free with RSVP »

In partnership with Mass Humanities and The Museum of African American History, PEN America presents a program honoring Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. July 18th is the anniversary date of the 54th’s first major battle at Fort Wagner, South Carolina: a celebrated historical event of the Civil War. Author Nicole Terez Dutton and Dr. Kellie Jackson, Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, join the Museum’s Director of Education, L’Merchie Frazier, for a discussion on the role of Harriett Tubman and Charlotte Forten, and the power and presence of women in the civil war.

All events will be held at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street. There will be a reception from 5:30-6:30, the program will run from 6:30-7:30.  

The Public Dialogue Series on Freedom, Justice, and Race presented by PEN America and the Boston Museum of African American History is made possible by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.


Nicole Terez Dutton‘s work has appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, 32 Poems, Indiana Review and Salt Hill Journal. Nicole earned an MFA from Brown University and has received fellowships from the Frost Place, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her collection of poems, If One Of Us Should Fall, was selected as the winner of the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts where she served as the city’s inaugural poet laureate. She teaches in the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program and is an editor at The Baffler and Transition Magazine.

Kellie Carter Jackson is a 19th century historian in the Department of Africana Studies. Her upcoming book, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press), examines the conditions that led some black abolitionists to believe slavery might only be abolished by violent force. Carter Jackson is co-editor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, & Memory (Athens: University of Georgia Press). Carter Jackson’s essays have been featured in The Atlantic, Transition Magazine, The Conversation, Boston’s NPR Blog Cognoscenti, AAIHS’s Black Perspectives blog, and Quartz, where her article was named one of the top 13 essays of 2014. She has also been interviewed for The New York Times, Al Jazeera International, Slate, The Telegraph, CBC, and Radio One. Carter Jackson also sits on the board for Transition Magazine where other essays of hers have been published. She earned her Ph.D in American History at Columbia University.

A visual artist, performance artist, educator, and activist, L’Merchie Frazier is the Director of Education at the Museum of African American History in Boston and an artist in the African-American Master Artist-in-Residence Program at Northeastern University. L’Merchie Frazier’s project builds upon the mission of the Office of Women’s Advancement, the newly formed Office of Recovery Services, and Mayor Walsh’s vision for a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston. Through workshops, her multi-disciplinary civic practice will focus on deepening relationships between the City and the recovery community.

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