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Events

Upcoming Events


We Refuse Book Release Party and Conversation

Join us for the We Refuse Book Release Party and Conversation! We are thrilled to invite you to Kellie Carter Jackson's book release party and discussion with Dr. Kerri Greenidge. Come celebrate the launch of "We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Reistance" at the historic African Meeting House. Free giveways to the first 50 guests who arrive. A book signing will be held at the conclusion of the event.

06/04/2024

6:30pm - 8pm

Museum of African American History, 46 Joy Street, Boston, MA

Past Events

Bearing Witness: Museums and Places Amplifying Black History

Museums serve as trusted spaces of memory and education. They are also critical to discussions around the history and legacy of slavery and racial injustice and how we might imagine a more just world. Join us for a conversation with Kyera Singleton, Director of the Royale House and Slave Quarters, and Christian Walkes, Director of Education at the Museum of African American History hosted at the African Meeting House in Boston. We will explore the intersection of collective memory and museums, delving into the profound role and responsibility of being stewards of historic sites. In this thought-provoking dialogue, we will navigate the intricate dynamics of preserving and presenting history to diverse audiences and discuss the critical role of these spaces.

Framing Freedom Today: Students and Educators in the Long Freedom Struggle | A conversation with Kabria Baumgartner and Kellie CarterJackson

How can we empower youth to critically engage with the past, present, and future of social justice movements at a time when educators are being unfairly targeted? What can we learn from past educators, especially Black women, who built a tradition of educational activism? Join educators and historians Kabria Baumgartner and Kellie Carter Jackson at the historic African Meeting House in Boston for a conversation about creating meaningful, inclusive, and transformative spaces for teaching and learning.

What is Owed? The Intersection of Cultural Preservation and Reparations

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In the new GBH News podcast, What is Owed?, we learn about those who have been gathering the bits of history in an effort to piece together the bigger picture of slavery and enslaved peoples' lives in America. Join us in the Meeting House of the Museum of African American History in Boston to hear more and discuss the missing legacy, the underfunding of Black historic museums, and the challenges of preserving what is known about early Black culture in America. GBH News reporter Saraya Wintersmith will talk about the podcast and moderate a discussion with MAAH's President and CEO, Dr. Noelle Trent and other panelists, visiting the intersection of reparations and the needs of organizations striving to complete America's historic records. Join us for a reception and panel discussion at the MAAH meeting house on Beacon Hill. There are pages missing in the story of American history. The lives and experiences of enslaved people brought to North American shores were irregularly documented in random assortments of lists, logs, photos, rosters and sales receipts distributed across the country.

A Revolutionary Encounter in London

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Join the Museum of African American History Wednesday, March 6, at 6pm for a presentation of A Revolutionary Encounter in London, an hour-long one-act play by Debbie Wiess about the little-known meeting between two of Boston’s most historic Colonial icons, Phillis Wheatley and Benjamin Franklin. On May 8th, 1773, enslaved African American poet Phillis Wheatley departed Boston for London to oversee the final preparations for publishing her book of poetry, Poems of Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. During her six-week stay in the British capital, she met many notables, including American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who had been living in London for over 15 years advocating for Colonial interests before the Crown and Parliament. The play is an imagining of their meeting unfolding in real-time, 251 years after their famous encounter. The play, featuring local actors Cathryn Philippe and Josiah George, will be presented as a staged reading in the sanctuary of the African Meeting House on Smith Court off of Joy Street in Beacon Hill, Boston. It will be followed by a discussion and then a reception of light refreshments.

Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy

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Join the Museum of African American History for a special presentation on Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy, a new anthology that brings together the voices of major progressive Black women politicians, grassroots activists, and intellectuals who offer insights on how we can create a more equitable political future. Learn more about this project through a panel discussion featuring the book's editor, Dr. Keisha N. Blain, who will be joined by contributors Kim Janey and Renee Graham. Zenzile Riddick from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education will moderate the conversation. Be sure to stay until the end to meet the panelists for a book signing at the end of the event.

Black History Month Film Series "Loving"

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Join the Museum of African American History and Showcase Cinemas for the third screening of our Black History Month film series. Join us at Showcase Cinemas de Lux Legacy Place for a screening of Loving that will include a discussion led by MAAH Resident Historian Dr. Kerri Greenidge.

Black History Month Film Series "Malcolm X"

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Join the Museum of African American History and Showcase Cinemas for the second screening of our Black History Month film series. We will be at Showcase Cinemas de Lux Randolph for a screening of Malcolm X that will include a discussion led by MAAH Resident Historian Dr. Kerri Greenidge.

Black History Month Film Series "Harriet"

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Join the Museum of African American History and Showcase Cinemas for the first screening of our Black History Month film series. Join us at Showcase Cinemas de Lux Randolph for a screening of Harriet that will include a discussion led by MAAH Resident Historian Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson.

MLK, Jr. Celebration with Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra at Faneuil Hall

 

This tribute to Dr. King will feature classical and spiritual pieces performed by young musicians from BYSO’s Intensive Community Program alongside distinguished leaders who will evoke the power and the promise of the civil rights hero through remarks, readings, and spoken word. This program is made possible through collaboration with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra

MAAH Living Legends Gala 2023

On Sunday December 10, the museum celebrates Boston’s African American history, and commemorates the long struggle for equality. This year we honor our 2023 Living Legends — Clayton H.W. Turnbull, Melissa M. MacDonnell, and Dr. Ruth J. Simmons. The Living Legends Award recognizes outstanding lifetime accomplishments to civil and human rights locally and nationally. The Living Legends Award continues a tradition established by the African Meeting House when they honored stalwart visionaries including Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison. At the Gala you will enjoy gourmet cuisine, bid on exclusive live auction items, and mingle with Boston’s most prominent CEOs, diverse community leaders, and influencers.

The Sergeant: a conversation with Dean Calbreath

Join the Museum of African American History and Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist, Dean Calbreath, on Thursday, October 26th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. for an engaging discussion on his new book The Sergeant. Learn about Nicolas Said, a young black man born in the African Kingdom of Borno, whose life takes a drastic change when he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. In a journey that would take him from across Africa, Asia, Europe, and eventually the United States, Nicolas Said would join the Massachusetts 54th regiment recruited in the African Meeting House. He would go on to continue fighting for equality, meeting figures such as Queen Victoria and Czar Nicholas I.

MAAH Stone Book Award Event 2023

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Join us on Thursday, October 19 for the 2023 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award Event — a highly anticipated annual social and scholarly event where we honor three authors whose remarkable books have made significant contributions to documenting African American history and highlighting the African American experience. Enjoy a FREE wine and hors d’oeuvres reception before gathering in the historic African Meeting House to learn more about this year’s winning authors: Thulani Davis, Kerri K. Greenidge, and Claude Johnson. End the evening by receiving your free book (if you are one of the lucky 100) and our famous MAAH Stone Book Award cookies for everyone!

Let the Children Sing! A Tribute Concert to Susan Paul

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The Museum of African American History and the Beacon Hill Civic Association proudly presents “Let the Children Sing! A Tribute to Susan Paul” in the African Meeting House at the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill. The program honors 19th-century educator and abolitionist Susan Paul who, in 1832, formed a juvenile choir that performed at anti-slavery meetings and held concerts to raise money for the cause. This jubilant concert celebrates Paul’s profound work and the legacy of this meaningful historic site where African American families worshipped, educated their children, debated issues of the day, organized politically, and changed the course of American history by advancing the cause of freedom. The concert features joyous music by Boston’s next generation of innovative artists through the celebration of music by youth enrichment groups City Strings, Hamilton-Garrett Youth Choir, and The Eastern Mass Children’s Choir, as well as remarks from civic and community leaders, including literary performer and educator Regie Gibson. Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite. We gratefully thank our program sponsors: Suffolk University, F.H. Perry Builder, Blackstone's of Beacon Hill, The Whaley/Ring Team: Coldwell Banker Realty, Florina Pizzeria/Paninoteca.

BLACK in the cradle of liberty

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The National Parks of Boston, Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture, and Museum of African American History invite you to the Great Hall in Faneuil Hall on Sunday, September 24 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. for "BLACK in the cradle of liberty," a performance gathering that explores agency, resistance and the power of place. Curated by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and narrated by Rei Fielder, the afternoon features music, dance and spoken word with an incredible lineup of Boston artists and creatives, including DJ WhySham, Nnenna Loveth, Crystal Valentine, Cakeswagg, Tim Hall, Ifé Franklin and Danny Rivera. A centerpiece of the event is Porsha Olayiwola's debut of “Still Speaking,” a newly commissioned poem performed with dancers Anastasia Wade, Javonna Corbin and Kenard Williams. The event is free and open to the public.

Letters for Phillis

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September 2023 marks the Semiquincentennial of the publication of Phillis Wheatley-Peters' Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. This event seeks to highlight the legacy of Wheatley-Peters who made history here in Boston and globally. The event, Letters for Phillis, is inspired by the friendship between Phillis Wheatley and Obour Tanner, a Black woman enslaved in Rhode Island, and the letters they exchanged over the years. The event will feature several Black Woman poets reading their own work while engaging the work of Phillis Wheatley-Peters

Juneteenth Community Gathering at African Meeting House -- Nantucket

AMH Nantucket interior, NTHP Joseph FerraroJoin us on June 19, 2023, to commemorate the Juneteenth Holiday at the African Meeting House in Nantucket. This event marks the opening of our Nantucket site for the summer months. During this community gathering, attendees will meet the Museum’s new President/CEO Dr. Noelle Trent as well as the Education and Interpretation Programs Department staff to learn more about the significance of the Juneteenth holiday and how the Museum of African American history upholds this legacy through our historic sites, exhibits, and collections.  

 

Juneteenth Gathering at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters

1 (1)Gather for Juneteenth to honor those who endured slavery and seized freedom on Brattle Street before the American Revolution, their living descendants, and the long history of Black freedom activism in Cambridge and beyond. This event will feature a community gathering with music, poetry, art, speeches, and family activities, followed by a screening of the award-winning 2022 documentary Descendant. Presented in partnership with the Descendants of Tony and Cuba Vassall, History Cambridge, the Museum of African American History, Royall House and Slave Quarters, Slave Legacy History Coalition, Cambridge Black History Project, First Church Cambridge, Christ Church Cambridge, and Black Coral, Inc.

Ilyon Woo in Conversation with Christian Walkes

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Embark on one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in American history, the journey to freedom of Ellen and William Craft, told by author Ilyon Woo in her latest book, Master Slave Husband Wife, at Belmont Books on Wednesday, May 17 at 7pm. Ilyon Woo will be in conversation with Christian Walkes, Director of Education and Interpretation Museum of African American History — Boston | Nantucket. A Q&A session will follow the conversation.

Chad L. Williams with The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War

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Moderated by Kendra Field, Associate Professor, Tufts University. The dramatic story of W. E. B. Du Bois's reckoning with the betrayal of Black soldiers during World War I—and a new understanding of that era and of one of the great twentieth-century writers. When W. E. B. Du Bois, believing in the possibility of full citizenship and democratic change, encouraged African Americans to “close ranks” and support the Allied cause in World War I, he made a decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life. For more than two decades Du Bois attempted to write the definitive history of Black participation in World War I. His book, however, remained unfinished. 

On Friendship & Black Study: A Conversation Between Dr. Jarvis Givens and Dr. Joshua Bennett

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Join us for this celebration of two new books on education, poetry, and black life. In a public discussion centering their two newest books, School Clothes and Spoken Word, Dr. Jarvis Givens and Dr. Joshua Bennett explore a theme that structures not only these two works of nonfiction, but their careers as writers and educators to this point: the long-standing bond between black study and the pursuit of human freedom. This conversation will be moderated by Christian Walkes, Director of Education and Interpretation, Museum of African American History.     

Honoring the African Meeting House on Nantucket Island

On March 10th, the Museum of African American History, Nantucket Atheneum, Nantucket Historical Association, and the Town of Nantucket will host an event Honoring the African Meeting House on Nantucket Island. The town’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office has been leading a collaboration of cultural institutions to remember the unfortunate defacement of this local gem five years ago and, more importantly, to honor this historic site and its significance to Nantucket. Do not miss this hybrid event of local organizations in solidarity with the African Meeting House. The event will feature Dr. Frances Karttunen, Barbara Ann White (Nantucket historian), Desiree Spriggs (MAAH’s Associate Director of Nantucket Operations), and Dr. McCarthy. This event promises to be engaging and informative.

MLK Tribute Concert 2023

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Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) and The Museum of African American History come together to celebrate and honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 16, 2023 at 1pm in Faneuil Hall. The tribute to Dr. King will feature classical music, spirituals and freedom songs performed by young musicians from BYSO’s Intensive Community Program alongside distinguished leaders who will evoke the power and the promise of the civil rights hero through remarks, readings, and spoken word. The keynote will be delivered by L’Merchie Frazier, visual activist, public historian and artist, innovator, poet and holographer.

H+H Emancipation Concert 2023

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Join us for our annual commemoration of the original 1863 Grand Jubilee concert in Boston, where members of H+H performed in celebration of Lincoln’s enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, in its 165th Anniversary.

The Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History partner to present the tenth annual Emancipation Proclamation Concert, a joyous celebration of liberty and freedom. Join H+H musicians, National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson, and conductor Anthony Trecek-King to commemorate Boston’s historic central role in the abolition movement, to celebrate the spirit of progress for human rights, and to recognize the role of music in creating alliance and belonging.

Living Legends Gala 2022

Special guest Sheri Shepard joins the Museum of African History  to host the most anticipated annual events in Boston! Sunday, December 11, celebrates Boston's unique African American community and experiences the compelling stories of the past and present to inspire pride and continue the legacy of equality for all. Join us for an evening celebrating history and the extraordinary accomplishments of men and women from the 18th and 19th centuries inNew England. The event will honor our 2022 Living Legends —Dr. Beverly Edgehill, M. L. Carr, and Bob Rivers. Enjoy gourmet cuisine, bid on exclusive live auction items, and mingle with Boston's most prominent CEOs, diverse community leaders, and influencers. Your support for the Living Legends Gala signals to all your commitment to highlighting Boston's extraordinary past and its role in creating a more inclusive present and future.

Drumfolk Performance with Post-Show Artist Talk Back with Step Afrika!

Drumfolk_flyer_KellieJacksonThe story of Drumfolk is the story of the unstoppable power of expression in the fight for freedom, that continues to galvanize and inspire us today. Arts Emerson is proud to be a co-commissioner of this stunning work, which celebrates the resilience of black artistry and community in the face of forces that would silence and destroy. Join us after the show for a special Post-Show Artist Talk Back with Step Afrika! founder C. Brian Williams and Museum of African American History Historian in Residence, Kellie Carter Jackson, Ph.D.

Stone Book Awards 2022

Join us on October 13th @ 6:30pm ET for this year's virtual award event featuring remarks by our esteemed panel of jurors, our two brilliant finalists, and a conversation with winning author Howard French moderated by GBH's Under the Radar host Callie Crossley. The first 100 registrants will receive a free copy of one of this year’s winning books and other goodies in MAAH Stone Book Award gift boxes.The 2022 MAAH Stone Book Award Virtual Event is hosted by the Museum of African American History and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, in partnership with the Kennedy Institute.

Reading Frederick Douglass Together

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Part of Mass Humanities "Reading Frederick Douglass Together" Join us on July 1 for a reading of Douglass' "What to the American Slave is the Fourth of July" on the Boston Common and on July 2nd join us for a reading at the African Meeting House on Nantucket

Juneteenth: A Freedom Celebration

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Join us and the Nantucket Equity Advocates in person at the African Meeting House on Nantucket for a Juneteenth Celebration. Frances Karttunen will lead a tour of the Historic Colored Cemetery on Nantucket at 2:30pm followed by a conversation with Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson at 4:00pm.

A Calling to Come Back: Understanding Why Nantucket Locals Revisit a Community Museum

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In 2021, Kimal McCarthy defended his dissertation titled "A Calling to Come Back: Understanding Why Nantucket Locals Revisit a Community Museum." Three social powers were identified. These powers induce a calling to come back. Alongsideidentifying three social powers of Nantucket's African Meeting House, Dr. McCarthy's research also provides a deep dive into the significance of repeat visitation to cultural institutions and adds the term "community museum" to the field of museum studies. 

Juneteenth Celebration at Longfellow House

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Gather with your neighbors the evening of June 19th at 105 Brattle St. in Cambridge MA, as we partner with the Longfellow House, the Cambridge Black History Project, and History Cambridge. Picnics, blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. A rain location is available. 

National Rededication Ceremony

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The Partners to renew the Shaw 54th Memorial are committed to ensuring that the Rededication Ceremony is an in-person celebration worthy of the importance of the occasion. 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shaw-54th-memorial-rededication-tickets-332843312307

 

Patrisse Cullors in An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Change Yourself and the World

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New York Times bestselling author of When They Call You a Terrorist offers a provocative and groundbreaking blueprint for modern-day abolitionists primed to elevate protest into system-changing action meant to transform our world. Presented in partnership with the Museum of African American History and moderated by their Director of Education and Interpretation L’Merchie Frazier.

Patrisse Cullors in An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Change Yourself and the World (St. Martin’s Press) charts a framework for how everyday activists can effectively fight for an abolitionist present and future. Filled with relatable pedagogy on the history of abolition, a reimagining of what reparations look like for Black lives and real-life anecdotes from Cullors, her new book provides a bold, innovative, and humanistic approach to how to be a modern-day abolitionist. Cullors asks us to lead with love, fierce compassion, and precision.

H+H performed in celebration of Lincoln’s enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation

HHMOVED ONLINE – NO IN-PERSON ATTENDEES at the Emancipation Proclamation Concert, Dec 31.

Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with City of Boston and First Night Boston protocols, there will be no in-person attendance at this year’s Emancipation Proclamation Concert.

We will videotape the performance, and release the recording in the near future.

Join us for our annual commemoration of the original 1863 Grand Jubilee concert in Boston, where members of H+H performed in celebration of Lincoln’s enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History partner to present the ninth annual Emancipation Proclamation Concert, a joyous celebration of liberty and freedom. Join H+H musicians, National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson, and conductor Anthony Trecek-King to commemorate Boston’s historic central role in the abolition movement, to celebrate the spirit of progress for human rights, and to recognize the role of music in creating alliance and belonging.

https://handelandhaydn.org/concerts/emancipation-proclamation-concert-2021/

Living Legends "Hybrid" Gala

JOIN US IN PERSON OR VIRTUALLY ON SUNDAY, DEC 4 -- Get ready for one of the most anticipated annual events with our celebrity host, Anthony Anderson, back in person by popular demand, at the Museum’s Living Legends Gala. On Sunday, December 4, celebrate Boston's unique African American community and experience the compelling stories of the past and present inspire pride and continue the legacy of equality for all.We have planned the best in hybrid programming during the Live In Person Event and Virtually, co-chaired by Dr. David Brown, President of Mass General Hospital, and Ronald L. Walker, II, CEO of The Walker Group. The Gala will honor M. Lee Pelton of The Boston Foundation and Dr. Peter L. Slavin of Harvard University, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, and Actor, best-selling Author and philanthropist, Hill Harper.Join us Live at the NEW Newbury Boston Hotel for a special in person experience featuring dinner, live entertainment, and YOU socializing in a COVID safe environment, or join us virtually from the comfort of your home. This event promises to be an insightful, fun, and passion-filled interactive experience with a 360-degree virtual event you’ll never forget.

https://www.eventcreate.com/e/llg