Join Dr. Chernoh Sesay on Zoom for a talk exploring Black religious and political spaces during the Revolutionary War and early republic.

Hosted by Old North Illuminated

Wed, February 22, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST

Register here

As Americans weathered the turbulent days of the Revolutionary War and early republic, African Americans carved out their own religious and political spaces in the new nation. In this talk, Dr. Chernoh Sesay of DePaul University will explore how enslaved and marginalized people of African descent fashioned community in unexpected places and played pivotal roles in historic change. Special attention will be given to Black religious and political spaces in Boston, including the emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry, a branch of Freemasonry for African Americans founded by the Beacon Hill abolitionist Prince Hall.

Drawing on archival material from Boston’s churches and recent scholarship, Dr. Sesay will explore the themes of gender, ritual kinship, abolition, and emancipation in Black religious spaces. This talk will also consider how the circumstances and contradictions of the American Revolutionary era were shaped by the religious and political experiences of African Americans.

To register for this virtual event, press the Tickets button and make a donation of any amount to Old North Illuminated, the nonprofit that preserves and interprets Old North Church & Historic Site. Your generosity supports our education programs. A Zoom link will be sent to you on the evening of 2/22.

Chernoh M. Sesay, Jr. is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Department at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, where he has received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. An Americanist historian, he has authored book chapters and has had articles appear in The New England Quarterly and the Journal of African American Studies. He has also written book reviews for the Journal of American History, the Journal of Africana Religions, and the Journal of Women’s History. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Black Boston and the Making of African-American Freemasonry: Leadership, Religion, and Community In Early America. In addition to numerous public talks, he has written for Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is currently on the editorial board for Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal,and is a member of the Old North Illuminated Education Committee.

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