This year, join us for an ongoing exploration of COMMUNITY and COURAGE, tools and attributes of the active citizen, through an exciting variety of programs and events.
Fall Topic: Community Movements
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Forcing Freedom: Understanding Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence
Speaker: Kellie Carter Jackson, PhD
Presented in partnership with the National Parks of Boston
Her book Force & Freedom examines one of the perennial questions in political thought: is violence a valid means of producing social change? In her lecture, Kellie Carter Jackson address how black abolitionists answered this question. Black resistance, and in particular, violent resistance to slavery, was central to emancipation. The phrase “freedom now” was never more urgent than in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Carter Jackson takes us beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.
Afterwards, join us for a reception and Community Conversation with the speaker and National Park Rangers Ryan McNabb and Elisabeth Colby for an intimate discussion of the parallels between the methods of bringing about social and political change in the 19th and 21st centuries.
Kellie Carter Jackson is a 19th century historian in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Slavery and Its Legacies at Old North: Confronting the Past, Envisioning the Future
Speakers: Jared Hardesty, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University; Jonathan Chu, PhD, Professor of History at UMass Boston; Madeleine Rodriguez, JD, associate at Foley Hoag in the Litigation Department; and the Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Captain Newark Jackson was a merchant, mariner, and congregant of Old North Church in the 1730s and 1740s who made and sold chocolate near Clark’s Shipyard in the North End. In 2013, Old North Church & Historic Site opened a living history chocolate experience named after the seemingly innocuous seafarer and cacao importer. Over the past seven years, Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate has become an integral part of the historic site and a beloved gem along the Freedom Trail. The story of colonial chocolate and Jackson is woven into the story of Old North Church. In 2016, historian Jared Hardesty became intrigued with this man about whom very little was known. So began a three-year international research project that revealed significant insights into Old North’s past that affects its future. Jackson’s personal history, as that of Old North and the city of Boston, reveals a complicated past involving slave owning and slave trading that weighs upon the present and alters our sense of ourselves.
Join us for an inside look into how a historic site comes to terms with information that alters its self-identity, its interpretation, and its public face. The panelists – two historians, a lawyer, and a bishop (three of whom are Old North board members) – weave together their differing perspectives and areas of expertise to illustrate the complexity of past narratives, the impact of the past upon the present, and the necessity of history in correcting a fractured identity.
There will be plenty of time for Q&A at the end, and the community is invited to weigh in on the research revealed.
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Vaccination Controversies Then and Now: Boston in 1721 and 1901
Speaker: David Jones, MD, PhD
Lecture: 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Community Conversation: 7:30 – 8:30 pm (refreshments served)
Immunization is one of the oldest and most effective medical technologies now in use. However, immunization has sparked fierce controversy throughout its history and remains controversial today. This talk will explore the public protests in Boston triggered by the inoculation against smallpox in 1721 and by compulsory vaccination against smallpox in 1901. In each case, opponents of the practice justified their resistance with a mix of arguments that spanned medical theory, religious faith, public safety, and individual rights. The controversy that began in Boston in 1901 reached the Supreme Court in 1905; the resultant ruling, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, still governs public health power today. These historical vignettes provide valuable perspective on modern vaccination controversies and suggest possible ways to move forward.
Afterwards, join us for a reception and Community Conversation with the speaker and Tegan Kehoe, Education and Exhibition Specialist for the Museum of Medical History and Innovation at MGH, for an intimate, open-minded discussion of the current vaccination/anti-vaccination debate in our society.
Trained in psychiatry and history of science, David Jones is the Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine at Harvard University.
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 @ 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Quilts for the Cause: Community Actions
Speaker: Pamela Weeks
Presented in partnership with the New England Quilt Museum
“Quilts for the Cause” include those used to promote social issues such as anti-slavery or prohibition, and for charitable or patriotic purposes, which include quilts made in time of war. Pamela Weeks, Curator of the New England Quilt Museum, will discuss quilts made for some of these issues with a concentration on the communities of women who helped the Northern cause in the American Civil War. She will outline the origins of the U. S. Sanitary Commission at the beginning of the War; detail the roles women played on the home front, and the battlefield; and feature the stories of some Civil War soldiers’ quilts.
Afterwards, join us for a reception and Community Conversation with Pam and Sue Bleiweiss of Threads of Resistance for an intimate discussion on the parallels between the communal and activist nature of quilting in the 19th century and quilting today. Our newest exhibition in Patriots Corner, Piece-ful Voices, will be on view in March in honor of Women’s History Month.
Saturday, March 9 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday, March 16 @ 10:30 – 3:30 pm
Sunday, March 24 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday, March 30 @ 10:30 – 3:30 pm
Learn piecing and contribute to a community-created quilt! Before there were sewing machines, quilts were made by hand. On March 9 and 24, talented members of a local guild, Quilters’ Connection, will be on hand with pre-cut squares to show you how to begin piecing a quilt by hand. Your hand-sewn pieces will be combined with others to create larger quilts. Members of Quilters’ Connection will quilt, bind, and finish them before they are donated to local charities in the Boston area.
On March 16 and 30, local quilter extraordinaire Catherine Gentile will demonstrate how the fabrics changed with technology and social need, and how the old method of quilt construction was updated with modern tools. Try your hand running some fabric through an Accuquilt die cutter (completely safe) and learn how to make photocards part of a quilt.
*Participation in these workshops is automatically included with admission to Old North Church & Historic Site. They will be held in Patriots Corner, where the current Piece-ful Voices exhibition is on view.
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Populism and Nationalism: What We Can Do to Strengthen Our Democracy
Speaker: John Shattuck
Presented in partnership with the Ford Hall Forum
Populist discontent with democracy is on the rise. We see examples of this dissatisfaction in the economic and cultural rebellions of people feeling threatened by globalization and shut out by elites. John Shattuck, foreign affairs and human rights expert, will examine how that discontent is being manipulated by opportunistic politicians in the US and Europe. These political figures claim they can fix the situation by strengthening nationalism, which often translates into weakening democratic institutions and centralizing power. How does that affect our global and domestic communities? What are the potential sources of resilience of our democracy, and what can we do as citizens to save it?
Afterwards, join us for a reception and Community Conversation with John Shattuck and Brian Conley, Associate Professor and Program Director for the Graduate Program in Political Science in the Suffolk University Government Department, for an intimate discussion on the necessity of active citizenship and the role individuals play in governmental shifts.
2019 LANTERN CEREMONY
Sunday, April 14, 2019 @ 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: Attorney General Maura Healey
Two men acting under the orders of Paul Revere snuck into the Old North Church late at night, climbed up Boston’s tallest steeple, and hung two lanterns. Their act of defiance against military occupation and monarchical rule ushered in the start of the American Revolutionary War. Ever since the 1875 centennial anniversary of the lantern hanging Old North has invited guests and community leaders to participate in a ceremony honoring the patriots who made that midnight ride possible.
This year, Old North once again invites you to come and relive the night that launched the revolution!
The theme of this year’s ceremony is “COMMUNITY and COURAGE.” The keynote speaker is Attorney General Maura Healey, the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The ceremony will feature colonial militia and re-enactors, a reading of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s beloved poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” and the lighting of two lanterns atop Old North’s steeple.
General admission starts at $40 and sponsorship opportunities begin at $300.
EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION
Thursday, May 23 @ 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Rally Point: Bravery + Action
Presented in partnership with the Photographic Resource Center
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Please join us for the opening reception of our first-ever photography exhibit, showcased in our Patriots Corner Gallery. Rally Point: Bravery + Action explores how teamwork, collective action, and fellowship can promote active citizenship through poignant and powerful imagery. Mingle with some of the artists, view the show after hours, enjoy some refreshments, and learn more about Old North’s community-facing plans. (Featured photo by Austin Soares)
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The Child Independence is Born: James Otis and Writs of Assistance
Speaker: James Farrell
Presented in partnership with Ford Hall Forum
Many years after the American Revolution, John Adams reflected on the 1761 speech by James Otis against writs of assistance. “Otis demonstrated the illegality, the unconstitutionality, the iniquity and inhumanity of that writ in so clear a manner, that every man appeared to me to go away ready to take up arms against it,” Adams wrote. “Then and there,” he said, “the child Independence was born.” This presentation will offer a reexamination of the writs of assistance speech by James Otis, testing Adams’s claim about its importance. Did the Revolution begin with the writs of assistance trial? To answer that question, we will review the purpose and function of writs of assistance within the political, legal, and economic environment of colonial Massachusetts, and discuss the constitutional dispute over writs of assistance in the 1761 trial. With a more complete understanding of Otis’s speech, what can we conclude about his influence on colonial opposition to British rule, and about his impact on American legal development in the areas of constitutional protection against unreasonable search, and with regard to the practice of judicial review of legislative action?
Afterwards, join us for a reception and Community Conversation with the speaker and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Christina A. Miller (Suffolk University) for an intimate discussion about the parallels between the writs of assistance and the parameters of search and seizure law as it is developing in the modern world.
James M. Farrell is a Professor of Rhetoric in the Communication Department at the University of New Hampshire.
SPECIALTY WALKING TOURS
Adventures at Sea: Bostonians in the Age of Sail
Thursday, June 6, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday, June 13, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday, June 20, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday, June 27, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Presented in partnership with and led by Boston By Foot
For Boston’s first two hundred years, “a flown sheate, a faire winde, and a boune voyage” were wishes at the heart of the city’s life and economy. Travel under sail was commonplace and central to the culture, across classes. Join us for ten memorable stories spanning that era, drawn from first-person accounts by Bostonians capturing the experience in letters, diaries, and memoirs. Pirates, storms, sea battles, wanderlust, exotic lands, romance, and Revolutionary politics all come alive. More than good stories, though, these accounts walk through the dramatic development of the Town Cove and Boston’s changing relationship with sea travel. In a broad stroke, they illustrate the influence of our port on the growth of the nation. Explore Boston like never before in this supremely researched, imaginative tour.
Old North Church’s own Captain Cyprian Southack is featured in this tour! Old North members receive a $10.00 discount. Not a member yet? Become one today!
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 @ 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Sweethearts at Sea: Love and Marriage in the New England Whaling Industry
Speaker: Amanda Goodheart Parks, PhD
During the nineteenth century, when Yankee whale oil lit the world, men from more than sixty New England communities sailed the world in pursuit of whales. In an era before petroleum and plastic, whale oil, baleen, and ambergris were used in the production of consumer goods ranging from corsets and buggy whips to industrial lubricants and lighting. Meanwhile, New England society began exploring new ideas about the role of romantic love in marriage. The combination of these new ideas and increasing demand for whaling products meant men and women in whaling communities were spending most of their lives apart by the mid-nineteenth century. That is until the 1840s, when a small group of married couples defied tradition by going to sea together. This lecture will chronicle the history of American whaling before shifting focus to one of these remarkable couples: Captain John and Elizabeth Marble of Fall River, Massachusetts. Using the letters, journals, and family heirlooms they left behind as a point of departure, this lecture will tell their incredible story of love, loss, and life at sea.
Amanda Goodheart Parks has studied gender in the New England whaling industry for more than a decade. With undergraduate degrees from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amanda has an extensive career working as a public historian, museum educator, and historical interpreter. She is currently working on a book about the history of love and marriage in New England’s whaling communities.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm
How We Live: Community Through Housing
Presented in partnership with Historic Boston Incorporated
Nothing is a hotter topic in Boston than housing: the constantly rising costs of rent and home ownership, the gentrification of certain neighborhoods, the lack of diversity in other neighborhoods, and the need for better living solutions in our tiny footprint of a city. What often gets left out of the conversation is the effect that housing has on a community and vice versa. This panel discussion will explore the idea of creating community through the built environment. With speakers from a variety of backgrounds, How We Live will explore creative housing approaches that have great impact on the community: cohousing, artist co-ops, affordable housing for recent immigrants. Join us for a discussion that thoughtfully analyzes architecture’s role in fostering connection and vibrancy between city cohabitants.
Panelists include Christine Clements, licensed architect; Angie Liou, Executive Director of Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) in Boston; and Raber Umphenour, filmmaker and co-founder of the Midway Artist Collective. Moderated by Donna Brown, Executive Director of South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation.