Monthly Research Forum

In conjunction with our monthly speaker series, Atlantic Black Box is kicking off our first monthly Research Forum this coming Monday, May 3 from 5:00-6:00 pm ET. This is an informal gathering of scholars, independent researchers, citizen historians, educators, archivists, genealogists, and aspiring history detectives coming together to talk shop, compare notes, and network. Special guest Skip Finley will give us an insider’s view of how he researched Whaling Captains of Color.

Remapping New England Speaker Series

Presented by Atlantic Black Box & Indigo Arts Alliance

Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Register here

ABB Event: Remapping New England: Monuments, Markers, & Collective Memory

Presented by Atlantic Black Box & Indigo Arts Alliance

Thursday, January 28 at 7:00 pm on zoom

 Register here

Join Indigo Arts Alliance and Atlantic Black Box for the first in a series of conversations that will showcase projects from around New England that aim to make Black history and heritage visible in the built environment.

Dr. Kate McMahon of the Center for the Study of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will moderate a conversation about public memory and representation featuring the following panelists:

• Representative Rachel Talbot RossPortland Freedom Trail (Maine)

• Charles RobertsRhode Island Slave History Medallions (Rhode Island)

• JerriAnne Boggis, Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (New Hampshire)

 Dennis CullitonWitness Stones Project (Connecticut)

 Register here

New England has long repressed the memory of its complicity in Atlantic world slavery, just as it has suppressed the stories of the region’s free and enslaved Black and Indigenous populations. These glaring omissions perpetuate historical harms. In plotting a course toward a more equitable future, we are going to need a better map.

ReMAPping New England (Memory + Art + Place) is a historical recovery project aimed at inscribing these effaced narratives both in the built environment and on a dynamic digital landscape in an effort to re-member our communities in all their diversity and radically shift public consciousness toward truth.

Indigo Arts Alliance connects Black and Brown artists from around the world with Maine’s artists of African descent through a multidisciplinary artist-in-residency program that embodies a Black-led approach to creativity, community-building, and mentoring.

Atlantic Black Box is a public history project that supports individuals and institutions in researching and reckoning with New England’s role in the Atlantic world slave economy.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council.

ABB Director of Research Kate McMahon will present “Freedom’s Woods: The African American Community of Peterborough in Warren, Maine

for Maine Historical Society’s Maine at 200 Series

Monday, September 14, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Register here

Sarah and Amos Peters came to Warren, Maine by the early 1780s and established a large community of African American, Native American, and mixed-race people whose lives were intrinsically linked to the sea and the land. Their story of hardships and triumphs can help us understand how early Mainers of color lived, worked, and formed communities that were sites of resistance to enslavement and racism. At the same time Maine was becoming a state in 1820, the Peters family and their kin fought to grow their families, their community, and their freedom despite the racism that they and others like them faced. Join MHS for this important and interesting talk with Dr. Kate McMahon of the Smithsonian Institution.

About the speaker: Kate McMahon was born and raised in Maine. She attended the University of Southern Maine for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She completed her Ph.D. in History at Howard University in May 2017. Her dissertation, The Transnational Dimensions of Africans and African Americans in Northern New England, 1776–1865, explores the complexities of the shipbuilding economies of northern New England, their connections to the slave trade, and how Africans and African Americans resisted slavery, racism, and their afterlives.

This program is limited to 500 attendees. Register now!

A People’s (Virtual) Walking Tour of Portland

Lunch & Learn with Maine Conservation Voters

Friday, August 21, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Register here

Seth Goldstein, Professor at the Maine College of Art, will join Maine Conservation Voters for their Lunch & Learn series to present “A People’s (Virtual) Walking Tour of Portland.” Professor Goldstein will start at the statue of George Cleeves on the waterfront and will walk us through the history of the First Peoples in the region; the French and Indian Wars and the virgin soil epidemics that killed many of the First Peoples; the African Diaspora and Maine’s maritime industry; and Portland’s role as a hub of the Underground Railroad. 

Witness Stones and Hard History Workshop

Monday & Tuesday, August 3 & 4, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Register here

Please join Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, of the ‘Teaching Hard History’ podcast, along with Dennis Culliton, Executive Director of the Witness Stones Project, for a virtual workshop/webinar; Witness Stones & Hard History, hosted by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).

The workshop will provide participants with a solid foundation to begin the challenging, but necessary, work to help all teach and understand the role that slavery played in the development of our Northern communities, and how the legacy of slavery continues to shape the systemic racism we witness today.

State Representative Patricia Wilson Pheanious, vice-chair of the Witness Stones Project, will be the keynote speaker.