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Concord, There Is More To Our Story

April 17 @ 6:00 PM

For over 10,000 years, humans have lived in this area, which we know as modern Concord, yet many of their stories have not been entirely told. With new research and a greater understanding of past events, we open new windows and opportunities to tell fuller stories of our community’s people.

From the Indigenous beginning of Musketequid to the encroachment of European arrivals, there are stories to be told. We will discuss the building of colonial Concord and the role of both free and enslaved Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals whose labor and heroism helped to build this community. Between twenty and forty colonists who fought along the Battle Road on April 19, 1775, were of African descent or Indigenous people. Although excluded from required militia service before the war, these individuals of color were the first of many to take up arms between 1775 and 1783. Unfortunately, systemic racism and historical bias have erased or buried many records of Black and Indigenous people who played a prominent role in the founding of the United States. We will examine the known history and stories of these Patriots of Color who fought for freedom locally during the American Revolution and beyond.

Additionally, we will reflect on Concord’s history around enslavement, the first generation of self-emancipated African-Americans, and the growth of Abolitionism. We see how these families strived to support themselves on the land and in the town and worked to shape their destinies as free men and women. We will discuss the Robbins, Garrison, and Dugan families by examining the incredible stories of individuals who risked everything while struggling for liberty, equality, and freedom for all.

Our discussion will conclude by examining 20th-century Concord and how its manifestation as a racially isolated community impacts and challenges its growth and development as a welcoming and inclusive community in the 21st century.

Ongoing learning together is helping our community answer these questions more fully. Who were we in the past? Who are we today? Who do we hope to become in the future?

Born and raised in Concord on a farm along Battle Road, Joe Palumbo works locally as an interpreter and tour guide. He is focused on sharing the well-known and the lesser-known local narratives as we work to broaden the story of all the people in our town. Currently, Joe serves as Chair of the Concord 250 Events Committee, Co-Chair of the Town DEI Commission, and is a Board member at The Robbins House.

This event is co-sponsored by Robbins House, Concord250, and The Concord Free Public Library’s William Munroe Special Collections.

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April 17
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Concord Free Public Library
129 Main Street
Concord, MA 01742
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