Historian James T. Campbell To Discuss Uncovering a University’s Ties to Slavery March 12

February 23, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—James T. Campbell, associate professor of American civilization, Africana studies and history at Brown University, will deliver a lecture titled “Navigating the Past: Brown University, the Slave Trade, and the Voyage of the Slave Ship Sally” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Black Studies and History, the Amherst College Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Eastman Fund, Campbell’s talk is free and open to the public.

Brown has a complex and highly profiled history with the slave trade. Founded in 1764 by the Rev. James Manning, who eventually freed his only slave, Brown University was supported largely by the donations of several prominent slave owners and traders in the Providence area. The Brown family, heavy contributors after whom the university was named, included both John Brown, notorious promoter of the slave trade, and Nicholas Brown Jr., staunch abolitionist.

Campbell, a member of Brown University's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, discusses how a university confronts its own controversial relationship to slavery and the slave trade, focusing on the voyage of a slave ship to Africa in 1764 by the four Brown brothers.

Campbell received his B.A. degree from Yale University in 1980 and his Ph.D. degree in history from Stanford University in 1989. He is the co-director of “Freedom Now: An Archival Project of Brown University and Tougaloo College,” an archive of the Mississippi Freedom Movement, a historical consultant for the “Forgotten History: Slavery and the Slave Trade in New England” project and is also involved in a collaborative project documenting the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. His works include the upcoming Middle Passages: African-American Journeys to America, 1787-2005 (2006) and the award-winning Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (1995).

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