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Black History Month Talk with Dr. Rebecca Hall, Author of Award-Winning Graphic Novel WAKE: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

Rebecca Hall, JD PhD is an independent scholar, activist, and educator. Her paternal grandparents were born enslaved. She writes and publishes on the history of race, gender, law, and resistance as well as articles on climate justice and intersectional feminist theory. Her most recent book, Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts (Simon & Schuster, 2021) has won multiple awards, and was a finalist for the N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards and the Pen America Open Book Award. Wake has been listed as a Best Book of 2021 by NPR and The Washington Post, Forbes, and Ms. Magazine. Her work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships. She is a 2022-23 Radcliffe Institute Fellow.

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About the Graphic Novel:
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts (written by Rebecca Hall, illustrated by Hugo Martinez) tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts tells her that enslaved women took a back seat. But she feels the need to look deeper. Her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan.

She finds women warriors everywhere.

Using in-depth archival research and the measured use of historical imagination, Dr. Hall brings to life the women who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage and the women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York.

We also follow Rebecca’s own story of resistance as living in the wake of slavery continues to shape her own life — both as a successful attorney and later as a historian seeking the past that haunts her. But in the process, she learns that the power of these women’s resistance, buried in the past, is still very much alive.

The past is gone. But we still live in its wake.


This program is in collaboration with the Watertown Free Public Library.

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Saturday, February 11, 2023

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Virtual - Zoom Webinar
361 Washington Street, Brookline, MA 02445, United States


Need aids or accommodations? Email our administration team or give us a call at 617-730-2360 for more information.

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