Thursday, February 25 – 7:30 p.m. at the American Antiquarian Society
Researching and Writing African American Biography: The Life of William Wells Brown
by Ezra Greenspan
Prof. Greenspan’s illustrated talk combines two stories: a narrative of the life of the most prolific and pioneering African American writer of the nineteenth century, and an account of a biographer’s journey to present that life to a twenty-first-century public.
Brown personified the American Dream. Born into slavery and locked into illiteracy until his escape at age 19, he became an internationally renowned antislavery activist-writer who resided and traveled widely across the northern United States and the British Isles. Over the course of a life devoted to personal and collective reform, he wrote a series of remarkable books that includes the first African American novel, the first printed African American play, the first African American travelog, the first African American panorama displayed in Britain, and the first history of African American military service in the Civil War. This talk will present this remarkable life story via an account of a year-long, ongoing research journey to retrace the course of Brown’s life and gather material for a comprehensive biography.
More information and directions are available on the AAS website at: http://www.americanantiquarian.org/publicpro.htm. Admission is free. Earn Double WOO points with WOO Card.