Saving Old Glory

Over two years after January 6, 2021, as our nation continues to recover from the violence and insurrection directed at our nation’s capital, led by many who carried our American flag, I am reminded of my Richmond, VA-born great-grandfather, Richard… Continue Reading →

Keith Stokes receives Outstanding Achievement in Leadership Award

1696 Vice President Keith Stokes received the Outstanding Achievement in Leadership Award from the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA). The RIBBA gala in the fall of 2022 was a prestigious, nominated awards program, recognizing individuals who exhibit excellence in… Continue Reading →

Harriet Jacobs

From our family collection, an original 1861 publication. Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in North Carolina and the author of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” published in 1861 and one of the first autobiographical narratives about… Continue Reading →

No Strange Fruit for Newport

Southern trees bear a strange fruitBlood on the leaves and blood at the rootBlack bodies swingin’ in the Southern breezeStrange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees Lyrics from “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday, 1939 Newport, Rhode Island in 1913 was… Continue Reading →

The Right to be Heard: Black Voices in Rhode Island History

As we are in the midst of a worldwide Black Lives Matter and social justice movement, the right to be heard as people of African heritage is tantamount with building a more just society. Here in Rhode Island, there are… Continue Reading →

Saving Old Glory

Although I can trace my family to the early formation of America, our ethnic experience was not as recorded or valued the same as the traditional accounts of the early American experience. As a person of African heritage, I had… Continue Reading →

From Enslavement to Entitlement

2020 has proven to be a difficult and stressful year. COVID19 has us sheltering in place, and then the brutal killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer had us surging into the streets in protest. To say that… Continue Reading →

The Rhode Island Origins of the Back to Africa Movement

RHODE ISLAND BLACK HISTORY ONLINE – For the RI Black Heritage Society While much of African heritage historical research and interpretation regarding the 19th and early 20th centuries “Back to Africa” movement has focused largely on the efforts of the… Continue Reading →

Black Votes Matter

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution that enacted the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United… Continue Reading →

A Long Journey Home

For me, my African ancestor’s trials of enslavement is not a distant historical occurrence, but something that shaped my family life then and to this very day. I have studied the subject extensively, lectured in many historic cities and countries,… Continue Reading →

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