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“Black Orators: By Word and By Pen” at the Museum of African American History

September 28, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Museum of African American History is pleased to host an evening of history, poetry and music dedicated to the unwavering persistence shared in three literary giants:  MARIA STEWART (1803-1879), DAVID WALKER (c.1797-1830) and SAMUEL ALLEN (1917-2015).

MARIA STEWART was the first woman to speak to a mixed-gender audience in public to address political topics. DAVID WALKER wrote and published An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.  As orators and publishers, both contributed to the African American literary canon. Maria Stewart and David Walker were good friends and neighbors on Joy Street.  After David died, Maria often quoted him and his efforts to unite black people.

SAMUEL ALLEN, whose pen name was Paul Vesey, began his literary career in Europe where he was a contemporary of Richard Wright and James Baldwin.  First recognized in Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s, his reputation spread to the U.S. in the 1960s.  His poetry books include Ivory Tusks and Other Poems and Paul Vesey’s Ledger.  Allen served on the Board of the Museum of African American History for over ten years.

L’Merchie Frazier, Director of Education, Museum of African American History will provide historical context.  Castle of Our Skins musicians will perform the work of black composers including String Quartets by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. Spoken word artist, Regie Gibson, will recite original poetry and select readings from the pens of Stewart, Walker and Allen.


6:00 pm     Maria Stewart and David Walker

History Talk by L’Merchie Frazier, Director of Education & Interpretation, Museum of African American History

81 Joy Street, Beacon Hill

6:15 pm     Reception

African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street

7:00 pm     The Music of Black Composers, Castle of Our Skins

Tribute to Black Orators, Regie Gibson

African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street

This program is made possible with support from the National Parks of Boston “Art on the Trails to Freedom” initiative, the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.


Museum of African American History
46 Joy Street
Boston, MA 02114 United States


Museum of African American History

Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.