Monthly Archives: December 2008

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

“Bristling innovation and mainstream melody-making classical modernism and free jazz Improvisation – all these elements, and others, converge when the CJP takes the stage.”
– Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Orbert Davis’s history as a gifted trumpeter, composer and visionary founder of the spectacular Chicago Jazz Philharmonic is evident once again in the brilliant new CD COLLECTIVE CREATIVITY.

Davis is not one to shy away from monumental undertakings, as he proved with his symphonic suite “Hope in Action” honoring Nelson Mandela, which was performed in Chicago’s Millennium Park to outstanding reviews.

– In 1994 he successfully integrated jazz rhythms with lush strings and formed the superb ensemble “Orbert Davis with Strings Attached”.

– In November 1998 he presented the world premiere of his classical composition, “Concerto for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra” performed by the Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Center Chicago.

– In 2003, Davis premiered his complex “Four Tone Poems for Jazz Quintet and Orchestra” at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall with his ensemble and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

– In July 2005 Davis’s 55-piece classical-and-jazz-combining Chicago Jazz Philharmonic collaborated with the AACM on Millennium Park’s stage.

The cover art for this new CD is an original painting by the late artist, musician, teacher and writer, Ben Richardson.

Davis: ‘This band is about breaking down barriers’

Chicago Tribune

Can genre-defying CJP’s meteoric rise be sustained? Imagine a thundering symphony orchestra that swings as hard as the sharpest jazz quintet. An ensemble that plays Ellington and Strayhorn with the technical bravura usually reserved for Beethoven and Brahms, but also with a sense of freedom and individuality unique to jazz.

Then imagine this unusually versatile organization led by a world-class trumpeter who has been compared to Wynton Marsalis — as virtuoso instrumentalist, music educator and visionary composer.

That confluence of musical possibilities might seem about as likely to occur as a series of lunar eclipses. Yet for Chicagoans, it requires no act of imagination at all.

. . .Moreover, this band has no peer in the United States, for it not only gleefully ignores boundaries that long have separated classical music and jazz, it unveils a stack of impossible-to-categorize, world-premiere compositions at every performance.

“We’re breaking down barriers,” says Davis, 47, in explaining why he’s attempting to pull together so many art forms for this biggest concert yet in the CJP’s existence.

“I believe we’ve not only redefined the boundaries of two genres,” adds Davis, referring to classical and jazz, “but we may be creating a new one.”

If so, it has no name, because the Third Stream appellation long used to describe jazz-meets-the-classics scores seems far too corny and ancient for Davis’ freewheeling, genre-defying venture.

Just last June, for instance, Davis and the CJP gave listeners at the Auditorium Theatre the world premiere of a ragtime piano concerto — of all things — inspired by music of MacArthur “genius” award winner Reginald Robinson, who brilliantly played the solo part. Though the piece must be considered a work-in-progress because Davis clearly needs to bulk up two of the movements, the aptly titled “Concerto for a Genius” literally has no equivalent in the entire jazz or classical repertory (James P. Johnson’s brief “Yamekraw” is a trifle by comparison).

Two years earlier, at Millennium Park, Davis and the CJP presented another striking world premiere: his audacious “Collective Creativity Suite.” Here was a vast symphonic work that dared to embrace the “free jazz” improvisational techniques of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The CJP’s classical string players, in other words, were liberated from merely interpreting the score, as classical musicians are trained to do. Instead, in several passages they spontaneously invented music alongside such AACM giants as flutist Nicole Mitchell and saxophonist Ari Brown. And because Davis in this piece drew inspiration from scores by the Russian modernist Igor Stravinsky — of all things — listeners had the rare pleasure of hearing the haunting “Berceuse” from “The Firebird” suite reinvented as a sensuous, earthy blues (in tenor saxophonist Brown’s gorgeous rendition).. .


Three Women Honored on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston


The artist is Meredith Bergmann. I had the honor of writing the engraved biographical sketches for each woman – – Abigail Adams, Phillis Wheatley, Lucy Stone.

The Boston Women’s Memorial celebrates three important contributors to Boston’s rich history. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history. 

The sculptures were dedicated on October, 25th 2003 on the historic Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston, between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets. Artist Meredith Bergmann’s vision for this memorial represents the forefront of new thinking about representation in public art. Unlike conventional statues that are larger than life or set high upon pedestals, the subjects of the Boston Women’s Memorial are sculpted in a manner that invites the observer to interact with them.

Each woman is shown in a pose that reflects the use of language in her life and instead of standing on her pedestal, she is using it. This memorial combines symbols found in the traditional sculptures surrounding it, but uses them in new and original ways.






“Imagination! Who can sing thy force?

Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?

Soaring through air to find the bright abode,

Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,

We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,

And leave the rolling universe behind:

From star to star the mental optics rove,

Measure the skies, and range the realms above.

There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,

Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul…”





And across the centuries since Phillis Wheatley first wrote, we celebrate 50 years since the publication of a book, by a Nigerian writer, that changed the way the West would think about African nations.

Odetta Remembered




There is a lovely performance by the great Odetta in one of her last television appearances. On YouTube go to:

Belle Greene and the Morgan Library

Here is my review from the Nov/Dec WOMEN’S REVIEW OF BOOKS of a biography of Belle da Costa Greene, the African American librarian, rare book expert and art historian who built the collection of the Morgan Library in New York City. The book is, An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene’s Journey from Prejudice to Privilege, by Heidi Ardizzone.

Playing the Game Square

Belle da Costa Greene had it all and then some. She was beautiful, brilliant, and independent. She was a prodigiously successful international career woman from the early days of the twentieth century until her retirement, amid tributes and honors, in the 1940s. She could pull off both rarified art historical insights and filthy humor in at least four languages. She dined with Fifth Avenue robber barons and partied till dawn with Greenwich Village bohemians. In all of her many circles she was sexual catnip to a bevy of enchanted and enchanting men and women, and thoroughly enjoyed “indoor sports,” as she called her dalliances.

Complex and contradictory, she considered herself a woman of the left, but early on pronounced herself a “masculinist” rather than a feminist. She felt most allied with the type of woman

“…who takes her pleasures as a man does and wearies of them and throws them aside as a man does—who is economically independent and so does not have to earn her living through marriage—who has no morals, but a sense of decency—no scruples outside of playing the game square.”

Although she worked for women’s suffrage—speaking, raising money, and distributing literature—she never joined large public demonstrations. Her ambivalence toward political activism might have had to do with a certain, singular mystery about the very public Miss Greene, who swept through boardrooms, bedrooms, and bank balances like a high fashion bolt of lightening: She was African American.

With the American conversation on race still, for the most part, in the “let’s do lunch . . . someday” stage, academics cannot really be blamed for taking cover behind a wall of jargon when the topic startles them. One jacket blurb extolling this juicy, historically important story of international passion, financial derring-do, the building of great museum collections, and lively family dramas, sells it with the observation that

Heidi Ardizzone challenges the lived experience of “passing” and indeed the whole construct of “passing” in American history. . . . Ardizzone has interrogated historical sources . . . offering us a deep cultural history of the art and literary worlds of New York and Europe at the turn of the century.

Another suggests that a life “so full of contradictions . . . hardly seems possible,” but it does show “the possibilities and dilemmas of modern womanhood.” Right.

Belle da Costa Greene was a daughter of Richard Theodore Greener (1844-1922). A member of the Harvard College class of 1870, Greener was the school’s first known African American graduate. He was a fine student, a young man of wide interests and abilities in history, philosophy, languages ancient and modern, the arts, and political theory. After college, he launched himself into a career of public service, soon adding a law degree from the University of South Carolina Law School to his activist arsenal.

In 1874 Greener married Genevieve Fleet, the accomplished and beautiful daughter of a middle-class, black Washington, DC, family. They had five children in fairly rapid succession; Belle Marion was their third. Greener became widely known and respected as an attorney, educator, speaker, and writer. In 1885, he was appointed secretary to the Grant Monument Association, the committee overseeing the funding and construction of Grant’s Tomb—an indication of his considerable political influence. Former President Chester A. Arthur headed the committee, and J. Pierpont Morgan, who was later to become a significant force in Belle’s life, was its treasurer.

Greener’s nonstop speaking engagements, his extensive travels on behalf of the Republican Party (the party of Lincoln), and his apparent lack of empathy for Genevieve’s struggles on the home front, where she more than once gave birth in his absence, all took a toll on the marriage. She appears to have been blindsided by the nugget of truth in the adage, “You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much.” In 1898, Greener accepted an appointment to a consular post in Vladivostok, Russia, and though it appears that he and his wife never divorced, they never again lived under the same roof.

Genevieve Greener was a very light-skinned woman, and her children ranged in color from cream to olive, although all understood themselves to be African American—at least until, for whatever emotional, financial, or other reasons, Genevieve chose to disassociate the family from her well-known husband by moving herself and her children to the other side of the color line. She changed the family name to Greene, invented a Portuguese grandparent named da Costa to account for that Mediterranean tint, and set up housekeeping in Princeton, New Jersey, a decidedly segregated community.

Belle da Costa Greene loved beautiful books. She determined at an early age to become a librarian and set herself a rigorous preparation. She studied Latin, Greek, modern languages, and European history. After taking a summer course in library studies at Amherst College, she found an entry-level position at the Princeton University Libraries. There, she spent three years in intensive study of early printing, rare books, and historical and illuminated manuscripts. Her knowledge and connoisseurship so impressed her friend and mentor, Junius Morgan, that he recommended her to his uncle, J. Pierpont Morgan, who needed an expert to oversee the growing collection of rare books and artwork that eventually became the Morgan Library.

Greene’s rise was spectacular. She quickly gained Morgan’s trust and admiration, and became his agent in the great race to plunder Europe’s medieval and renaissance treasures and deploy them as evidence of American wealth, ambition, and culture. While other employees quaked in the presence of the imperious Morgan, Greene took him on with feisty humor, and a depth of knowledge and insight into her field that equalled his in the realm of finance. Had they been lovers? she was asked after his death. “No,” she is said to have replied, “We tried.”

One of the handful of top scholars, collectors, and wheeler-dealers of her day in the world of rare, gorgeous, and fabulously valuable books and artworks, she was the only woman among them. Morgan trusted her with millions of dollars. Her goal was to establish a collection that would one day have “neither rival nor equal,” not even the British Museum or the French Bibiotheque Nationale. And in fact, it has long been acknowledged that Greene “transformed a rich man’s casually built collection into one which ranks with the greatest in the world.”

Greene was also celebrated as an outstanding beauty. She was small, willowy, and animated by both an indomitable will and a contagious joie de vivre. The photographs, paintings, and drawings of her gathered here show her to have had an almost chameleon-like quality. By turns sultry, elegant and, with the passage of time, matronly, her skin color is defined by the artists’ handling of light and shadow. Not one to sequester herself in the stacks, Greene enjoyed wearing designer couture, eyebrow-raising jewelry, and extravagant hats. Her quip, “Just because I am a librarian doesn’t mean I have to dress like one” became something of a guild motto for the profession.

Greene’s great love was the pre-eminent authority on renaissance art, Bernard Berenson, the married proprietor of the Villa I Tatti in the hills above Florence (now the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies). The two met around 1908 and were in and out of each other’s lives and beds, in Europe and the United States, from then until Greene’s death in 1950. Ardizzone’s greatest resource is the trove of hundreds of Greene’s letters to Berenson, archived at I Tatti. In them, we hear her utterly distinctive voice, commenting on the personal seasons and major events of her adult life.

Mary Berenson, Bernard’s wife, herself no paragon of fidelity, viewed Greene with a cold eye—but not simply because of her husband’s infatuation. Mary was Bertrand Russell’s former sister-in-law and a woman used to holding her own in intellectual circles. She had left her first husband for Berenson, and accepted that he was a philanderer. But she had ambitions as an art critic and scholar, and felt as much left out of the conversation as out of her husband’s affections.

This book tells two stories. One is the life and extraordinary career of Belle Da Costa Greene. The other, uneasily embedded within the first, is Ardizzone’s struggle over how to discuss the sticky matter of race in America. She and her publisher seem to have thought they needed to justify this 500-page biography with its subject’s ambiguous racial identity and the extended frisson her act of racial transgression would provide to its readers.

Thus, the first section is rather a slog, a droning narrative of genealogical begats and muddled African American history. Apparently the author assumes that the shockwave she sets off when she establishes Greene’s racial identity will reverberate throughout the narrative, supplying a unifying subtext to all the varied facets of this brilliant, witty, and adventurous woman’s life. In fact the effect is just the opposite; Ardizzione separates out an integral part of a complex person and makes it the defining lens through which we see her. Yet if ever a subject demanded a kaleidoscope rather than a monocle, it was Belle Greene.

A certain naiveté further undercuts this approach. The reader is asked to believe that J. P. Morgan would have given the keys to his collection, an endless series of blank checks, and a role as his international representative to someone whom he had not vetted to a fare-thee-well. Greene’s father—whom, we have seen, Morgan knew—was a dedicated “race man,” and the only passing he ever did was of the bar exam. When he and Morgan served together on the Grant Monument Association, the members had socialized, dined together, and doubtless politely inquired after each other’s families. J. P. Morgan didn’t get rich by being dumb.

So, was Belle daCosta Green passing? Sure, but once she had become indispensable to Morgan, attached to Berenson, and an influential scholar in her own right, she hardly suffered terrors of unmasking. As speculation about her background became a source of spicy gossip, and Morgan’s collecting rival, Isabella Stewart Gardner of New York and Boston, dismissed Greene as a “half-breed who couldn’t help lying,” Greene simply kept her own counsel. She herself could be just as vulgar and apparently careless in her remarks. Finding the lace sleeve of her tea gown torn, she is reported to have glanced at her arm and commented, “The nigger blood shows through, doesn’t it?” Berenson seems to have figured it all out, and given his own travails with the pervasive anti-Semitism of his friends and clients, one hopes he and Greene found support and humor in comparing notes.

In her work, Belle Greene’s passion was for all aspects of the art of the book: text, type, paper, binding, and overall design—the results of scores of choices and decisions from margins to materials to illustrations. She spent decades contemplating the communion of author, editor, illustrator, designer, and reader. While she certainly would relish this biography for its perpetuation of her name, work, and reputation, she would cringe at much that is unfortunate in its execution. This attempt at a crossover work meant to appeal to both academia and the general public is poorly edited and bizarrely repetitious. Still, the story is worthwhile and wonderfully entertaining. Greene lived through two world wars, encountered hundreds of the most interesting, influential, and just plain spectacular personages of her time, and expressed strong, pithy opinions about all of it. Ardizzone’s research is wide ranging and meticulous. She has compiled the information, but it will be up to someone else to tell Greene’s story as it deserves to be told.


Women’s Review of Books

We should all support this new and improved incarnation of the original publication, now edited by the brilliant Amy Hoffman. It’s a Massachusetts journal with national and international reach. Be sure you or your institution subscribe.

English Cemetery in Florence, Italy

New England Abolitionists Buried in Florence, Italy

In October  I gave a paper at a really interesting conference in Florence having to do with the English Cemetery. At least 80 Americans were also buried there in the 19th-century, including Theodore Parker. I spoke on Edmonia Lewis who began her life in Italy in Florence – – and said a bit as well about Sarah Parker Remond who was born in Salem and studied medicine in Florence (I should be clear that neither woman is buried there; they were part of the larger Florentine ex-pat community.)

The restoration of the English Cemetery is under the direction of the extraordinary scholar and activist, Julia Bolton Holloway. Photographs are from her websites.

ConferenceWomen1Some of the participants

For some of the conference papers and much more info. Google: City and The Book V


Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s tomb

parker-graveTheodore Parker’s original grave. A more elaborate monument was installed later.


…in 1855, the case against Boston minister Theodore Parker came to trial. Charged with inciting an abolitionist riot, he defended himself by describing the horrors of slavery. He told the dramatic story of William and Ellen Craft, fugitive slaves from Georgia. The light-skinned Ellen had posed as a white man, and William pretended to be her slave, as they journeyed one thousand miles to freedom. In Boston, they received a warm welcome from the anti-slavery community. When their masters sent agents to reclaim them, abolitionists harassed the men until they gave up and left town. But Boston was no longer safe. The Crafts fled again, this time to England. They did not return to the U.S. until after the Civil War.

In April of 1855, Boston was abuzz with talk about a controversial court case. The Reverend Theodore Parker, whom friends and co-workers called “Minister to the Fugitive Slave,” was to stand trial for inciting a riot.

The previous spring, Parker had addressed an abolitionist crowd gathered at Faneuil Hall. He urged them to take action to prevent a fugitive slave from being returned to his master. A riot did, in fact, follow Parker’s speech, and he was charged with inciting it. Now, a year later, the case had come to trial.

Parker defended himself by attacking the immorality of slaveholders and all those who helped protect “the peculiar institution.” In the 200-page defense he wrote and later published, he equated morality with active, even if illegal, opposition to slavery.

He drew upon the story — well-known in Boston — of a young couple who had, like many fugitive slaves, been his parishioners. William and Ellen Craft had made a 1,000-mile escape from slavery only to find themselves in danger in Boston. When slave-catchers came to reclaim them, Parker and other abolitionists defied the law and risked arrest to protect the couple.

The Crafts’ story was compelling indeed. Both of them were born into slavery in Georgia. William’s first owner was a gambler, who sold off his slaves one by one to pay his debts. When his master decided that a slave with a marketable skill would bring a higher price, he apprenticed William to a carpenter.

Ellen was the daughter of a slave named Maria and Maria’s master, Colonel James Smith. Bitterly resentful of the fact that the light-skinned Ellen was often mistaken for a member of the family, Mrs. Smith gave the 11-year-old girl to one of her daughters as a wedding present.

Ellen and William met in Macon, Georgia, in the early 1840s and fell in love. William described their condition as “not by any means the worst”; still, they despaired at the thought of spending their lives in bondage. Knowing that as long as she was a slave, her children would be born into slavery, Ellen resolved never to marry and have children. “But after puzzling our brains for year,” William recalled, “we were reluctantly driven to the sad conclusion that it was almost impossible to escape.” They decided to get the consent of their owners and were married in 1846.

Almost three years passed before the couple devised an ingenious and audacious plan. Ellen was so light-skinned that she could pass for white. They agreed that she would disguise herself as a young white man traveling north attended by his slave. William used his savings to purchase the clothing and accessories that Ellen needed. She would cut her hair, don clothes befitting a gentleman, and wear dark glasses. At the last minute, they realized that Ellen would have to sign the guest register at their lodgings; it was illegal for slaves to learn to read or write, so they decided to bind her arm in bandages and say that they were going north to seek medical treatment. With an injured arm, she could ask others to sign for her without arousing suspicion.

On December 21, 1848, they slipped out of Macon. For four harrowing days, they traveled by train, boat, and stagecoach. Their ruse was nearly uncovered several times when fellow travelers or stationmasters questioned why a man would risk taking a slave to Philadelphia where he could so easily run away. William served his “master” with such devotion that Ellen could respond convincingly that she had little fear of that. Luck was on their side, and they arrived in Philadelphia on Christmas Day.

They remained in there for several weeks before continuing on to Boston, where abolitionists hailed them as the heroes they were. They spent the next few months on a speaking tour of Massachusetts and then began boarding in the Beacon Hill home of black activist Lewis Hayden. Ellen worked as a seamstress and William as a cabinetmaker. He became both a successful tradesman and a leader in Boston’s black community.

In September of 1850, however, a newly passed federal law, theFugitive Slave Act, put them in jeopardy. Northerners were now obliged to help slave owners reclaim their “property.” Within a month, two agents arrived in Boston looking for the Crafts. William barricaded himself in his shop while friends stood guard outside. The agents persisted, but William managed to get himself back to the Haydens’. Lewis Hayden armed his house with kegs of gunpowder and vowed to blow it up rather than surrender a single person under his protection. Ellen Craft went into hiding at Reverend Theodore Parker’s home. For the next two weeks, the minister wrote his sermons “with a sword in the open drawer under [his inkstand], and a pistol in the flap of the desk.”

Anti-slavery activists harassed and threatened the agents and followed them everywhere. In the course of five days, they had them arrested five different times on charges such as slander and attempted kidnapping. Finally, the agents were intimidated into leaving the city.

The abolitionists were jubilant, but they knew that the Crafts were no longer safe, even in Boston. When the Crafts’ former masters wrote to President Millard Fillmore for help, he replied that he would mobilize troops if necessary to see the law enforced. The Crafts decided that, like hundreds of other fugitive slaves, they would have to leave Boston. Since all the ports were being watched and guarded, they traveled overland to Nova Scotia, where they eventually boarded a boat to England.

The Crafts lived in England for the next 17 years. They educated themselves, raised five children, and worked on behalf of abolition. After the Civil War, the family returned to the United States, where William and Ellen founded a school for freed slaves in their native Georgia.

The Crafts’ story provided abolitionists like Theodore Parker with a dramatic example of why Bostonians should defy the Fugitive Slave Act. But southerners — and the federal government — were determined to enforce the law and return fugitive slaves to their owners. Like other radical abolitionists, Parker urged civil disobedience — to the point of violence if necessary — as a means of securing the freedom of slaves being sheltered in the North. When his case came before the court in April of 1855, all of Boston knew he would turn the trial into a debate on the morality of the Fugitive Slave Act. Reluctant to embroil himself in such an unpopular issue, the judge dismissed the case on a technicality, and Parker went free.

From the MassHumanities Mass Moments series.




Ellen and William Craft (top) and Ellen Craft in disguise.


‘Zdes’ pokoitsja telo/ negritjanki Kalimy/ vo Sv. Kresenii/ Nadezdy/ privezennoj vo Florenciju iz Nubii/ v 1827 godu . . . 1851// Primi mja Gospodi/ vo Carstvie Tvoe’/Qui giacciono le spoglie mortali della nera Kalima, nel Santo/ Battesimo chiamata Nadezda (Speranza) che è stata portata a Firenze dalla Nubia nel 1827 . . 1851, Accoglila Signore nel Tuo Regno/

Inscription in cyrillic on the tomb of Nadezhda, a Nubian girl brought to Florence  at age 14 as a slave and baptized into the Russian Orthodox church.


A view of the Duomo from the English Cemetery

The African Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston

The original African Meeting House built in 1806

The Meeting House after it was remodeled in 1855

The African Meeting House on Smith Court off of Joy Street housed a Baptist church and a school. It is the oldest surviving black church building in the United States.

For a while, back when, I was the entire curatorial staff for the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill in Boston during the period when the late Henry Hampton (Eyes On The Prize) was Chair of the Museum board. I was reponsible for the African Meeting House (1806) on Joy Street, the Abiel Smith School (1835) next door, and the rescue of the African Meeting House on Nantucket which has since been restored.

-I offered guided tours in English, French, and with interns, Spanish and German.

-Brought Brian Lanker photo exhibition, I DREAM A WORLD, and the New England premiere of film GLORY to Boston.

-Acquired signed first edition of book by Phillis Wheatley for the Museum among other additions to the collections.

-Presented readings by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Leon Forrest, etc.

-Co-curated exhibitions on early New England African American history and culture with the Boston Athenaeum – – including the publication Courage & Conscience.

-Initiated and organized concerts and recording of music by William Grant Still and other major black classical composers performed at the African Meeting House.

See the book MARIA W. STEWART: AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK WOMAN POLITICAL WRITER (available on Amazon) for the life and work of a woman who lectured in this building in the 1830s.

Stewart bok cover



“ . . . enthusiastic, well-written . . . read it if you want to be inspired by a truly heroic woman.” —New Directions for Women

“ . . . the fullest account to date of Stewart’s life and an excellent basis for understanding Stewart’s work.” —History

“This is informative and inspiring source material for today’s scholars, lay readers, and ‘professionals’ . . . ” —Journal of American History

In gathering and introducing Stewart’s works, Richardson provides an opportunity for readers to study the thoughts and words of this influential early black female activist, a forerunner to Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth and the first black American to lecture in defense of women’s rights, placing her in the context of the swirling abolitionist movement.

Citations (learn more)

66 books cite this book:

More Citations: 1 2 3 4 Next


. . . and I have related essays in these books:

sisters of the spirit cover_lrg






African-American historian William Cooper Nell lived and wrote in this house facing the African Meeting House in Smith Court. As a child he attended the school in the church basement. He later was a leader of the boycott and movement to integrate the Abiel Smith School next to the Meeting House.



William Cooper Nell was the author of






Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote the intro to Nell’s book, was not only a brilliant and prolific writer, she was also a striking and charismatic woman




An 1851 Boston, Massachusetts, poster warning both fugitive slaves and free blacks of kidnapping risk following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850



Cliff Truesdell shows you how.

And be sure to see his new book:


His WordPress blog is @ Cliff Truesdell Sonic Genius

And one of his CDs is


Available on Amazon, of course.



Is this a previously unknown portrait of Christiana Carteaux by E. M. Bannister?




Portrait of Christiana Carteaux Bannister



By her husband Edward Mitchell Bannister



Another picture by Dan Bering

(Edward Bannister Loved Sailing)