Literature & Arts Digital Exhibits

This collection of exhibits engages with pre-twentieth-century representations of texts and art. Included are figures of early Black music and visual arts, such as writers Phillis Wheatley Peters and David Walker, early jazz figures Cy and Charlie Shribman, visual artists like Scipio Moorhead and Edmonia Lewis, and collective groups, such as Afric-American Female Intelligence Society of Boston. This collection also includes cultural production about early Black Bostonians such as Chloe Russell’s  dream book. Much of the goal of this collection is to make visible and legible the creative textual and visual arts  of Early Black Boston in the pre-twentieth century. These exhibits showcase the diversity of  Blackness and the  heterogeneous ways that culture, history, resistance, and being are represented. 

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This exhibit discusses the issue of racial exclusion in feminist movements, focusing on white feminism's failure to address the concerns of women of color. It also emphasizes the importance of practicing intersectional feminism for a more inclusive future.

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The Colored American Magazine was one of the earliest magazines in the United States that was dedicated to African-American culture, literature, and social issues. It covered a wide range of topics, including literature, poetry, art, music, history, politics, and civil rights.

The Afric-American Female Intelligence Society members worked together to promote literacy in the streets of Boston and in addition to being a pillar of the society, this organization of Black women in Boston devoted itself to the preservation and cultivation of its community.

Phillis Wheatley is considered the first African-American to publish a book of poetry. This mapping project follows her through her early life, her enslavement, and through her death.

Phillis Wheatley Peters is recognized as the first African-American to publish a volume of poetry. As a child, she was kidnapped from West Africa and sold in slavery to the Wheatley family. It was here in Boston that she learned to read and write.

Pauline Hopkins was a Black woman recognized widely in the 19th century as an intellectual, a singer, and a novelist. She's known for being the editor of the Colored Cooperative Publishing Company, as well as her efforts promoting racial equality and uplift.

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