Hosted by Old North Illuminated

Join Dr. Jaimie Crumley for a talk about how the dynamic between Black women and Northern Episcopal Churches shifted after the Revolution.

Thursday, October 19 · 7 – 8:30pm EDT, online

Register here

In Dr. Jaimie Crumley’s Fall 2022 Speaker Series talk, she argued that the women of African descent who participated in Episcopal Churches during the British Colonial Period (roughly 1607-1783) primarily joined the church because of mixed feelings of desire and coercion. However, in this talk, Dr. Crumley will demonstrate that the dynamic between women of African descent and Episcopal Churches in the urban North shifted after the American Revolution. Starting in the 1780s, many northern states either abolished slavery (in the case of Massachusetts) or promised enslaved people their gradual emancipation. While coercion continued to define the lives of free people of color, the end of slavery offered more opportunities for them to explore their faith. In the early decades of freedom and quasi-freedom in the North, some women and men of African descent made Episcopal Churches in the urban North (including the Old North Church) their spiritual homes. In this talk, Dr. Crumley will discuss how some women of color in the urban North participated in the Episcopal Church during the nineteenth century.

Dr. Jaimie D. Crumley is an Assistant Professor in the Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies Divisions in the School for Cultural & Social Transformation at the University of Utah and the former Research Fellow at Old North Illuminated in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Crumley is currently engaged in two research projects. The first is a study of the people of African and Indigenous descent who participated in the religious, social, and cultural life at Christ Church in Boston (more commonly known as the Old North Church) from 1723 to 1860. She argues that African and Indigenous peoples’ engagement with the rituals of Episcopal Old North produced trans-Atlantic ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality that inform contemporary ideologies of the same. Dr. Crumley has documented her research about Old North in the video series Illuminating the Unseen, produced by Old North Illuminated. Illuminating the Unseen is the recipient of a 2023 Preservation Award from the Boston Preservation Alliance. Dr. Crumley’s second research project is about New England’s Black women abolitionists, theologians, sisters, and friends from roughly 1770-1870. In this project, Dr. Crumley finds that Black New England women remade Christian theology to articulate their desire to abolish slavery, sexism, and racism. Dr. Crumley has received research fellowships from the University of Utah School for Cultural & Social Transformation’s Mellon-funded Transformative Intersectional Collective, the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, the Institute for Citizen and Scholar’s Women’s Studies Fellowship, and more to support her research and writing. Dr. Crumley is the author of articles about the Old North Church, Black Christian feminists in New England, and archival research methods. Dr. Crumley earned her PhD in Gender Studies at UCLA, her M.Div. and STM at Yale Divinity School, and her BA at Wellesley College.

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