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Grant number like: MD-277076-21

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Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (Deerfield, MA 01342-5004)
Timothy C. Neumann (Project Director: June 2020 to present)

Digital Projects for the Public: Discovery Grants
Public Programs

$30,000 (approved)
$30,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2021 – 6/30/2022

Lucy Terry Prince: A Window into African American Life in Early Rural New England

Development of a website addressing the experience of African Americans in Revolutionary-era New England.

Our project plans for a website to increase understanding of the lives of African Americans in early rural New England. Its narrative focus will be Lucy Terry Prince, the first documented African American poet. Her life, from birth and captivity in Africa c.1730 to enslavement in Deerfield, MA, to her death as a free woman in Vermont in 1821, encompasses signal events in the lives of enslaved people. Lucy’s life illuminates important aspects of the Revolutionary-era: a) how the slave trade and enslaved African American labor were instrumental in creating a thriving maritime economy in colonial New England; b) how desire for independence fueled by that economy gave rise to Revolutionary political principles that enslaved people seized upon to obtain their freedom; c) how African Americans struggled to enact those principles as free citizens after the Revolution; and d) how, in this context African Americans expressed their creativity and made important contributions to American culture.