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On Jan. 25, 2021, Dr. Jessica Millward discussed her recent book, Finding Charity's Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland in a virtual conversation with Museum President and CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson. Millward talked about how slavery, freedom, and liberation were intertwined in the experiences of African American women in the Revolutionary era and explored the experiences of enslaved Maryland women who negotiated for their own freedom. Through her research on the life of a single enslaved woman, Charity Folks, Millward transformed our understanding of slavery and freedom in Revolutionary America. Based on more than 1500 manumission records and numerous manuscript documents from a diversity of archives, Millward brought together African American social and gender history to provide a new means of using biography as a historical genre.

Finding Charity's Folk is available to purchase through University of George Press.

About Dr. Jessica Millward

Dr. Jessica Millward

Dr. Jessica Millward is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and 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.

Read the Revolution is sponsored by The Haverford Trust Company.

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Read the Revolution Speaker Series with Vincent Brown

Read the Revolution Speaker Series

The Read the Revolution Speaker Series brings celebrated authors and historians to the Museum for lively, facilitated discussions of their work.
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Finding Charity's Folk by Jessica Millward

Finding Charity's Folk

Read two excerpts from Jessica Millward's book, Finding Charity's Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland.
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Rhonda Brace (left), a descendent of Jeffrey Brace, who was enslaved during the Revolutionary era, found freedom, and wrote a memoir in 1810, which was republished in 2004 by Kari Winter (right).

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