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Keynote Lecture: Troubling the Narratives of a Democratic Nation: "Whose Stories Are These?" Jacqueline Jones Royster

Date: Thursday, March 4th, 2021

In 2020, the Center for Public Humanities had the remarkable opportunity to join “The Commonwealth Monument project,” a coalition of citizens, organizations, educators, and legislators dedicated to establishing a new bronze monument on the Pennsylvania State Capitol that honors Harrisburg’s rich African American history and pays tribute to the U.S. Constitution’s 15th and 19th amendments, which secured the vote for African Americans and for women. The dedication of this new monument, “A Gathering at the Crossroads” (pictured above) took place against the backdrop of a global pandemic and protests that call us to recon with our nation’s legacies of slavery. As this season of pandemic and protests continues, we are keenly aware, that despite the enfranchisements we gained 100 years ago, “freedom” continues to be one of the most cherished, contested, and elusive ideals of the American imagination. We are pleased to offer the Messiah University community and wider public the opportunity to engage in a robust, interdisciplinary conversation on freedom.



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