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2019 Boston Book Festival: Black History Detectives: Discovering 19th Century Stories Through Documents and Artifacts

This Boston Book Festival session focuses on the authors’ use of documents and artifacts — letters, newspaper advertisements, court records, birth certificates, etc — as evidence and inspiration for building individual stories that are emblematic of African American history. We anticipate that the authors will speak to the discovery of particular primary sources/artifactual documents that informed their work, and the way that these historical records and archival materials underpinned their research.

Keeping in line with the Museum of African American History (Boston and Nantucket)’s mission, we hope that this session will resonate with the tactile museum experience, combining the power of artifact and story to make history come alive, and that the discussion might highlight themes of discovery, agency, tenacity, family, resilience, marriage, kinship, and the intertwining of slavery and freedom.