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Power, Privilege, & Social Justice: A History of African American Civil Rights, Part 3

October 7, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Power, Privilege & Social Justice is a three-part series from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, in partnership with Providence Community Library, which explores the history and struggle for African Americans to achieve Civil Rights in Providence over a 300-year period. Keith Stokes, Advisor to the RI Black Heritage Society, will presents the talks. The series begins with the arrival of enslaved Africans and continues through history to the unfinished business of today. The presentations will examine how contemporary social justice activities are an outgrowth of civil rights work done in the past and will also include rarely seen historic images. The FREE talks take place on successive Wednesdays, September 23, 30 and October 7, and will be prefaced by a short story told by Valerie Tutson of RI Black Storytellers.

GET FREE TICKETS for each of the three parts through Eventbrite and you will receive a Zoom link with instructions on how to join:


Wednesday, September 23, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Recounts the early arrivals of enslaved Africans to Providence and Rhode Island, their fight for emancipation and the development of Providence’s first African heritage religious, civic and education institutions.


Wednesday, September 30, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Focuses on the social and political conditions faced by the African heritage community in Providence during the 19th century. Key topics will include establishing the early free African heritage neighborhood within College Hill, surviving Hardscrabble and Snowtown race riots, securing the right to vote, integrating public schools and passage of early civil rights laws.


Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Explores the 20th century and the fight for fair employment during the World War Years and fight for fair housing during the 1950s through 1960s. There will also be a discussion of the unfinished business of social justice within the present-day Black Lives Matter movement, Mayor of Providence’s “Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations” initiative and other social justice issues facing us today.

Power, Privilege & Social Justice: History of African American Civil Rights in Providence RI is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Council seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information: www.provcomlib.org


Providence Community Library
401 467 2700
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