Lecture to Highlight Unconventional Black Politics in Newport’s Gilded Age on June 6th

Since the earliest colonial times, Rhode Islanders have had a reputation for idiosyncrasy, for doing things their own way, especially in politics. African-heritage Rhode Islanders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were no different.

On June 6 at Rosecliff, Bard College Professor Dr. Myra Armstead will illuminate the unconventional Black politics of Newport’s Gilded Age in her presentation, “Eclectic and Independent: Black Self-Advocacy Strategies, 1870 to 1930.” The lecture begins at 6 p.m. and also will be presented via Zoom video conference.

This is the third and final lecture of the Preservation Society’s spring series focusing on African-heritage experience during the transformative Gilded Age.

The series is presented in collaboration with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, which also co-presents the Preservation Society’s current exhibition at Rosecliff, “Gilded Age Newport in Color.”

Dr. Armstead is the Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies at Bard College and Senior Adviser to the President of Bard. She specializes in U.S. social and cultural history with emphasis on urban and African American history and has written several books, most recently “Memory and Enslavement” (2023).

More information and registration are available at www.newportmansions.org/events/eclectic-and-independent.




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