Black History Detectives: Discovering Nineteenth-Century Stories Through Documents and Artifacts


October 19, 2019
4:30pm - 5:30pm


Old South Guild Room
645 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

Boston Book Festival 2019

In this session, we’ll hear from two historians who have used innovative and painstaking research methods to shape their chronicles of African American history. Tera W. Hunter is the 2018 winner of the Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Award for Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the 19th Century, and Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is the author of They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, called “a taut and cogent corrective” by Parul Sehgal in the New York Times. Their conversation, moderated by historian Rayshauna Gray, will focus on the authors’ use of documents and artifacts—letters, newspaper advertisements, court records, birth certificates, etc.—as evidence and inspiration for building individual stories that are emblematic of African American history. They will speak to the discovery of particular primary sources that informed their work, and the way that these historical records and archival materials underpinned their research, highlighting themes of discovery, agency, tenacity, family, resilience, marriage, kinship, and the intertwining of slavery and freedom. Sponsored by the Plymouth Rock Foundation and the Jim and Cathy Stone Foundation to honor the MAAH Stone Book Award, this session will resonate with the tactile museum experience, combining the power of artifact and story to make history come alive.


  • Rayshauna Gray


  • Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
  • Tera W. Hunter


  • Plymouth Rock Foundation
  • Stone Foundation

Registration fee: 


Type of event: 

Partner Events

Learning area: 

Commun. Org. & Planning
Racial Equity