UNH conference looks at ‘Black New England’

When most people think of the slave trade in America, they might think of states in the South. Many would be surprised to learn that New Hampshire was a major slave trade center during the Colonial era.

This information and other issues will be discussed at “Black New England: Life, History, and Community in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” a conference on the Black experience in Northern New England, to be held June 23-24 at the University of New Hampshire.

Although the issues of race and slavery are not typically associated with New Hampshire and neighboring states, the history of black culture in region dates back hundreds of years.

“‘Black New England’ promises to be a landmark event in increasing awareness and sharing information about African American life and history in the region,” said David Watters, director of the Center for New England Culture at UNH, professor of English, and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of New England.

Panel presentations will cover contemporary civil rights issues, genealogy and family history, race and place, and preservation efforts.

The Friday keynote presentation is free. A registration fee of $25 covers all other events and lunch Saturday. The conference is co-sponsored by the UNH Office of Black Heritage Partnerships, the African American Collection of Maine at the University of Southern Maine, and the Harriet Wilson Project.

For more information and registration, visit neculture.org or e-mail jerrianne.boggis@unh.edu or call 862-0353. —CINDY KIBBE

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