On the Poetry of Phillis Wheatley

With the publication of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773) [AAS online catalog record], Phillis Wheatley became the first published African American poet. Because of her status as a house slave in Boston, Massachusetts, she achieved high literary recognition in the years following publication. Prominent political figures like George Washington and Thomas ...

Join us for “Liberty and Justice for All”

This Thursday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m., James O. and Lois E. Horton will present “Liberty and Justice for All: The Civil War as Blacks’ Second American Revolution.” Directions to AAS and further information about this and other public programs are available on the AAS website. Describing the scope of their lecture, Professor ...

Three Opportunities to Learn More About Early African American Lives


Spring is springing, the bees are buzzing, and we are coming into the busy season here at AAS. Opportunity is knocking. This week AAS will be involved with two wonderful lectures on the lives of African Americans, so it’s a perfect time to tout the wide-range of material we have supporting the study ...

Historical Fare for Today, Tomorrow, and Thursday


Today you can check out a new issue of Common-place.org, an early American online journal AAS co-sponsors. If you want to understand today’s economic woes, you could do a lot worse than explore hard times in early America.  That’s the message in “Hard Times,” the latest edition of Common-place.org, guest edited by ...

AAS Helped Compile an Early African American Bibliography


Toward the end of his now-famous 1897 Atlantic Monthly essay, "Strivings of the Negro People," W.E.B. DuBois states that the post-Civil War years brought for African Americans “the ideal of book-learning, the curiosity, born of compulsory ignorance.” Historians may note DuBois’ ultimate discontent with this ideal -- the longing to achieve freedom through ‘book-learning” -- ...

UPDATE: Ezra Greenspan’s Lecture Rescheduled

William Wells Brown: A Reader

It's a good news / bad news situation. For those of you who were not going to be able to attend Ezra Greenspan's lecture tonight, the good news is his talk on "Researching and Writing African American Biography: The Life of William Wells Brown" has been postponed to Thursday, April 22.  And for those who were ...

Mark Your Calendars for a Week from Today

William Wells Brown: A ReaderWilliam Wells Brown: A Reader

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

William Wells Brown: A Reader 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.