Joanne Melish (University of Kentucky, Emerita), lead scholar, is recognized as a leading authority on slavery and early African American experience in New England. She has received several awards, among them a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and has reviewed numerous books by colleagues in her field. Professor Melish is actively involved in public history and education, and to that end has served as a consultant historian to the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice and to the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. She has also been a presenter and scholar at many conferences for educators and museum-goers throughout New England. http://www.choices.edu/resources/scholars_Melish.php
Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina (Dean, Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts) Her book, “Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary 18th-century Family Moved out of Slavery and into Legend,” is the story of slaves who grew up and became husband and wife in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the 1700s. After gaining their freedom, they built a home in Vermont. Mrs. Prince went on to be a valued member of her community and today is considered the first known African-American poet. “Mr. and Mrs. Prince” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the NAACP National Image Award. http://www.gretchengerzina.com/
Jared Hardesty (Assistant Professor of History, Western Washington University) is a historian of colonial America and the Atlantic World. His research investigates the contours of slavery, labor, and the nature of power in British North America. His book, “Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston,” examines the lived experience of slaves in eighteenth-century Boston and demonstrates they were part of an early modern world where notions of class difference, deference, and dependence structured and defined the social order. Hardesty has published articles and book reviews in Slavery & Abolition, The New England Quarterly, and Early American Studies. https://chss.wwu.edu/history/
Richard A. Bailey (Associate Professor of History, Canisius College) specializes in colonial American history, American religious and cultural history, and the history of “race” in America. These interests culminated in the publication of his most recent book, Race and Redemption in Puritan New England. In addition to delivering invited lectures in Massachusetts, California, and Kentucky, he is currently working on a manuscript entitled The Redeemed Captive’s Zion, an analysis of society and culture on the frontier of western Massachusetts during the 18th century. https://www.canisius.edu/academics/programs/history/history-faculty-scholarship
Thomas Doughton (Senior Lecturer, Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies, College of the Holy Cross) He specializes in the history of people of color and their relationships with whites in Central New England. He co-authored “From Bondage to Belonging: The Worcester Slave Narratives”with B. Eugene McCarthy, and can trace his ancestors in the Worcester area back to the 1700s. Thomas Hazard, the great-great-great-great grandfather of Mr. Doughton, who is also part Nipmuc Indian, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War.