It is no coincidence that scholars and participants will gather next Saturday, February 13, to reflect on Emancipation and the Work of Freedom for the 33rd Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series. The conference's current theme is historically fervent as this calendar year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Marion Thompson Wright was a native of East Orange who made history when she became the first black woman in the U.S. to receive a Ph.D in history. In her life, she was a revered professor at Howard University and published historian. It is fitting that the conference, affiliated with Rutgers University-Newark, honors her achievements not only because she is a north New Jersey native but also because she added important work to the states's history of black people.
The MTW series is held in the campus center named for another notable black New Jersey native, Paul Robeson. The conference goes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A reception is held directly after at the Newark Museum. The museum is a consistent partner of the series and boasts collections of masterworks relating to the theme of civil war and emancipation.
Both are known as public humanities events and are free to the public.
I have lived in Newark for almost five years and this year will be my third time attending.I am as excited about the speakers as I am about the attendees; it is hard not to meet a few of the country's finest citizens.