In its new exhibit, “Chapter and Verse: Books by and about Rhode Island African Americans,” the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society showcases writings dating to the early 1800s with an opening reception on Thursday, October 16th, 5:30pm at the John Brown House, 52 Power Street (off Benefit) Providence, RI. Admission is free and open to the public.
Black entrepreneur Elleanor Eldridge of Warwick wrote her memoirs in 1838 to raise legal funds. William J. Brown, a free man of color and descendant of slaves belonging to the Brown family, captured 19th century life of College Hill in his engaging 1883 autobiography. Pastor Henry Jeter of Newport penned Twenty-five Years Experience with the Shiloh Baptist Church in 1901, giving us a window into the Black church. Rhode Island is rich with literary nuggets that reveal the fascinating lives of African Americans. Olivia Ward Bush, Carolyn Beard Whitlow, Michael Harper and Donna Daily exercised their creative urges as poets. Novelists George Schuyler and Rudolph Fisher invented genres and studded the Harlem Renaissance with their genius. Biographies profile Maritcha Lyons, the first Black student to integrate Providence public schools; the Brave Black Regiment which defined heroism in the Revolutionary War; and Sissieretta Jones, the nation’s first Black opera diva.
View these and many more books and authors through December 2014. The exhibit is curated by Robb Dimmick.