Creating mindful heritage narratives: Black women in slavery and freedom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Attempts to complicate New England history and counter the amnesia of northern slavery must be done in ways that responsibly account for the diversity of experiences throughout the region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This transitional period from slavery to emancipation laid the foundations for how slavery is remembered and how race is understood, even to this day. Reading through the historical and archaeological records allows a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms by which captive and free Blacks were marginalized in New England’s landscape and historical memories through gendered and racialized processes of erasure. This article examines the experiences of three women from early rural Massachusetts through a lens of Black feminist theory with the goal of creating mindful narratives of what it meant to be Black in New England at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-61
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank Drs. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Robert Paynter, and Jane Anderson for their guidance, insight, and inspiration on this project; and to Tim Neumann, Barbara Mathews, and David Bosse at the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and Historic Deerfield, Inc. Special thanks to my family, friends, and faculty mentors for their support over the years, and especially to Anthony Martin for his helpful insight on African-American sties in New England. Thank you also to Chris Fennell and the reviewers for their time and invaluable feedback. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. 1451512.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Black feminist archaeology
  • Heritage
  • Historical narratives
  • New England
  • Slavery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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