The Newport Historical Society today announced that they will host Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes for a virtual lecture Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision and Living Legacy on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 5 pm, virtually on Zoom during African-American History Month.

An incident in Newport Harbor in 1812 led to the first formal meeting between a person of color and a sitting United States President. When Captain Paul Cuffe had his ship and cargo seized in Newport, he was the wealthiest person of color at the time. He was an entrepreneur, a Master Mariner and whaler, a voting rights activist for both African American men and Native American men, an abolitionist, a philanthropist, a visionary, and an educator.His early vision for African Americans and African-descended peoples around the world to “return to” and rebuild West Africa influenced others, including some in Newport’s African American community who left for West Africa in 1826. Captain Cuffe left a legacy of struggling for equality and justice that continues to inspire us today.

Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes is the Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum where she is responsible for curation of exhibitions, exhibit installation, historical research related to exhibitions, publications, lectures, symposia, collections guides, interpretive public programs and public outreach in New Bedford and Cabo Verde. She has a background in African American and Native American ethnohistory and archaeology in New England and the Caribbean and has documented and done archaeological work on Native American, African American, and Caribbean histories and landscape development. She has done anthropological fieldwork on Rastafarian communities, West African spirituality and Native American spirituality. Before coming to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in August of 2017, she taught for nine years as an Anthropology professor in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development, American Studies and Political Science at Wheelock College in Boston.

Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision, and Living Legacy will take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 5 pm, virtually on Zoom. To register for the lecture, call 401-846-0813, email hrockwood@newporthistory.org or go to the calendar listing on the NHS website.

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