Greenwich Historical Society’s “Shining a Light” Lecture Series Returns for 4th Year

Greenwich Historical Society’s fourth annual “Shining a Light” Lecture Series offers captivating stories of people and organizations who have had a profound impact on the history of the Northeast, yet whose stories have remained largely unacknowledged.

Series participants will hear from various experts about what motivated trailblazers who forged the way for equity for Black Americans; the story of Asian workers who mutinied aboard a ship when they discovered they were tricked into believing they were headed to California, only to learn they were to become indentured servants in Peru, and of how oral histories and archives contributed to uncovering the history of Black Holyoke, Massachusetts through Black perspectives.

“The “Shining a Light” series is dedicated to providing insightful programming that enables the community to engage with speakers who present new perspectives and a more complete historical narrative,” says Stephanie Barnett, Greenwich Historical Society’s Associate Director of Public Programs and Community Outreach. “Their stories, which are central to our nation’s history, enable us to further our vision for instilling a strong sense of place and an appreciation for our shared past.”

African American History in Connecticut
Thursday, February 29, 6 – 7:15 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar
Lecturer: Jeffrey Fletcher
Executive Director, Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum

Jeffrey Fletcher will discuss the museum’s collection and the historical context across periods of slavery, civil rights, and ongoing efforts for equity today. Powerful visuals of the museum’s exhibition “Images of America/Challenges of the Badge” showcase what motivated the trailblazers who forged the way for equality and freedom for African Americans. The exhibit is a powerful reminder for Americans to never forget the violence and racial injustice which are a major part of the country’s history.

For more information about the lecture and to make a reservation:

The Cargo Rebellion: Those Who Chose Freedom
Graphic, Multimedia Narratives in Connecticut’s Asian American History

Thursday, March 28th 6 – 7:15 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar
Lecturer: Dr. Jason Chang
Associate Professor of History and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute at UConn

Dr. Chang will share collaborative research and a graphic and animated history of Connecticut’s connection to the trade in indentured Asian workers, known pejoratively as “coolies.” In 1852 a New Haven captain set sail to China and tricked 400 Chinese workers into thinking they would be taken to California. When the truth was revealed that they were en route to Peru to be indentured in the guano fields, they mutinied and took control of the ship only to face a typhoon and an uncertain future. Learn about this fascinating story along with updates on the state’s K-12 Asian American studies curriculum.

For more information and to register:

Reliquary of Blackness: Uncovering the True History of the Black Community in the Paper City

Thursday, April 25th 6 – 7:15 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar
Lecturer: Erika Slocumb
Director of Interpretation and Visitor Experience, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

What is history? And who gets to tell it? What stories are documented? Why? Within traditional frameworks history is viewed as past events that have been validated through research. Much of the history of Holyoke, Mass., known as the Paper City for its leadership in paper production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, has been white-washed, focusing on the narratives of city founders, white-factory-owning-men and European immigrant communities, and their cultural industrial contributions to the city. More recently, stories of Puerto Rican migration and culture have been documented. The inclusion of these stories has helped to broaden the conversation about the city’s diverse communities. However, the history of the Black community in Holyoke has been obscured and often excluded from the larger narrative. This lecture will highlight the journey of uncovering and documenting the history of Black Holyoke through Black perspectives using oral histories and archival documents.

For more information and to register: