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The Penny Lecture Series: African American Activism in Nottingham

  • Nottingham Contemporary Weekday Cross Nottingham, England, NG1 2GB United Kingdom (map)
Image credit: Hannah-Rose Murray

Image credit: Hannah-Rose Murray

Please join Nottingham Contemporary and PhD student Hannah-Rose Murray (University of Nottingham) who will discuss the legacy of African American activism in Nottingham. At least seven formerly enslaved black Americans lectured in the city between the 1830s and the 1870s, educating local audiences on the brutal nature of slavery and the nature of transatlantic racism. Hannah-Rose will discuss famous figures such as Frederick Douglass, who visited Nottingham in 1846, to William and Ellen Craft who organised a meeting in the city in 1851, and Josiah Henson, who spoke about his memories of slavery in 1876.

This talk will highlight Nottingham's rich black history and its long history of activism, as well as its deep transatlantic connections to America.

Hannah-Rose Murray is a PhD student in the Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on African American activism in Britain during the nineteenth century, and she has created several maps of black abolitionist speaking locations -

This event forms part of the 'Penny Lecture Series' in collaboration with the Univeristy of Nottingham, Backlit Art Gallery, and the National Justice Museum. Matthew Chesney (Director of BACKLIT) and Hannah-Rose Murray (PhD student, in the University of Nottingham) have curated a small exhibition to formerly enslaved African American Josiah Henson and his friend and benefactor, manufacturer and philanthropist Samuel Morley. Josiah Henson and Samuel Morley’s connected story represents the campaign for freedom, equality and human rights in Nottingham, and beyond. In the late nineteenth century, Samuel Morley organised a series of 'Penny Lectures' for the working classses. Designed to increase their education, men and women would pay just a penny to attend a variety of lectures on numerous subjects from science to politics.

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