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Part of Museum’s Popular Read the Revolution Speaker Series

Author and historian Dr. Jessica Millward will join the Museum of the American Revolution virtually on Thursday, January 28 at 6 p.m. to discuss how slavery, freedom, and liberation were intertwined in the experiences of African American women in the Revolutionary era. Millward will explore the experiences of enslaved Maryland women who negotiated for their own freedom—many of whom have been largely lost to historical records—based on her recent book Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland. The virtual event is part of the Museum’s popular Read the Revolution Speaker Series.

In Finding Charity’s Folk, Millward focuses on the life of Charity Folks, a woman who was enslaved until age 40, painstakingly piecing together a social history of her journey to freedom. Based on more than 1500 manumission records and numerous manuscript documents, she brings together African American social and gender history to transform our understanding of slavery and freedom in Revolutionary America. Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, Museum President & CEO, will facilitate a live Q&A with Millward and the virtual audience.

Tickets are $7 for general admission, $5 for students, teachers and museum professionals, and free for Museum Members, and are available here.

“If the story of Charity Folks and other enslaved women is any indication, what we do matters. The stories of enslaved women and Black women more generally are crucial to our understanding of the long arc of the fight for freedom.” – Millward in Finding Charity’s Folk

Dr. Jessica Millward is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and a core faculty member of African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert on issues related to race, gender, and social justice. Dr. Millward's first book, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland (2015), was published as part of the Race in the Atlantic World series from University of Georgia Press. An award-winning scholar, she has published in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Women’s History, Frontiers, Souls and the Women’s History Review as well as op-eds in Chronicle of Higher Education, The and The

Millward is currently working on a book-length project that discusses African American women's experiences with sexual assault and intimate partner violence in the late 19th century. A media-savvy historian, Millward specializes in bringing a historical perspective to modern times. With Tiffany Willoughby-Herard and Johanna Fernandez, Millward curates, “Activist Studio West: A Digital Repository for Movement Material.” Along with Kacey Calahane and Max Speare, Millward is a co-host of the podcast “Historians on Housewives,” which examines the long-running Bravo franchise through the lens of historical scholarship to over 20,000 subscribers.

The Museum’s Read the Revolution Speaker Series brings celebrated authors and historians to the Museum for lively discussions of their work. The series is based on the Museum’s national Read the Revolution bi-monthly e-newsletter, which features excerpts from thought-provoking books to inspire learning about the American Revolution.

Read the Revolution is sponsored by The Haverford Trust Company. 

About Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit or call 877.740.1776.