With the critical acclaim and success of Academy Award-winning “12 Years A Slave,” the acclaimed remake of “Roots,” and the recent release of “Birth of a Nation,” historical dramas portraying the African American experience from slavery to freedom has inspired many to learn more about this important, yet complex chapter in American history.

On Thursday October 27, 2016 the Newport Historical Society will host Keith and Theresa Stokes from the 1696 Heritage Group who will unveil the 220 year history resulting from one of the most famous mass slave emancipation and reparation efforts in history. Titled, “Legacies of Slavery & Freedom: A Family Journey Through the Atlantic World,” the presentation will present the scholarly research and documentation that dramatically reconnects the former Unity Pen (Plantation) of 18th century Jamaica with Atlantic World countries and historic communities through the experiences of the descendants of an enslaved African-Jamaican boy, named October, aka Robert Barclay. This boy, along with 27 other slaves would not only be emancipated by Quaker David Barclay in 1795, but also received new lives as free men and women in America through his reparations plan. David Barclay is part of the founding families of today’s Barclay Bank. The program will include an exhibit of Robert Barclay’s family heirlooms that represent two centuries as Barclay family members are actively intertwined with the earliest African American places of worship, masonic orders, civil rights and commerce.

Legacies of Slavery & Freedom takes place at 5:30pm at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. Admission is free but seating is limited, please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org.

1696 Heritage Group is a historical research and interpretation group founded by Theresa Guzman Stokes and Keith Stokes. Dedicated to helping persons and institutions of color to increase their knowledge and access to the light of truth of their unique American heritage, 1696 Heritage Group conducts lectures, tours, and assists organizations of color to develop programming.

This lecture is generously funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Council seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. For more information visit: http://www.newporthistory.org/events/event/legacies-of-slavery-freedom-a-family-journey-through-the-atlantic-world/

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.