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Slavery and Its Legacies at Old North: Confronting the Past, Envisioning the Future

An inside look into how a historic site comes to terms with information that alters its self-identity, its interpretation, and its public face.

Speakers: Jared Hardesty, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University; Jonathan Chu, PhD, Professor of History at UMass Boston; Madeleine Rodriguez, JD, associate at Foley Hoag in the Litigation Department; and the Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Captain Newark Jackson was a merchant, mariner, and congregant of Old North Church in the 1730s and 1740s who made and sold chocolate near Clark’s Shipyard in the North End. In 2013, Old North Church & Historic Site opened a living history chocolate experience named after the seemingly innocuous seafarer and cacao importer. Over the past seven years, Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate has become an integral part of the historic site and a beloved gem along the Freedom Trail. The story of colonial chocolate and Jackson is woven into the story of Old North Church. In 2016, historian Jared Hardesty became intrigued with this man about whom very little was known. So began a three-year international research project that revealed significant insights into Old North’s past that affects its future. Jackson’s personal history, as that of Old North and the city of Boston, reveals a complicated past involving slave owning and slave trading that weighs upon the present and alters our sense of ourselves.

Join us for an inside look into how a historic site comes to terms with information that alters its self-identity, its interpretation, and its public face. The panelists – two historians, a lawyer, and a bishop (three of whom are Old North board members) – weave together their differing perspectives and areas of expertise to illustrate the complexity of past narratives, the impact of the past upon the present, and the necessity of history in correcting a fractured identity.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A at the end, and the community is invited to weigh in on the research revealed.

Panel Discussion: Slavery and Its Legacies at Old North

October 16, 2019 6:30pm-8:30pm 

Old North Church (193 Salem Street Boston, MA 02113)

Reserve Your Tickets Here