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Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 @ 7:30 pm$10
The Royall House & Slave Quarters welcomes Tufts University historian Kerri Greenidge to speak about her forthcoming book, “Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter.”
This long-overdue biography reestablishes William Monroe Trotter’s essential place next to Douglass, Du Bois, and King in the pantheon of American civil rights heroes. William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934), though still virtually unknown to the wider public, was an unlikely American hero. With the stylistic verve of a newspaperman and the unwavering fearlessness of an emancipator, he galvanized black working-class citizens to wield their political power despite the violent racism of post- Reconstruction America.
For more than 30 years, the Harvard-educated Trotter edited and published the Guardian, a weekly Boston newspaper that was read across the nation. Defining himself against the gradualist politics of Booker T. Washington and the elitism of W.E.B. Du Bois, Trotter advocated for a radical vision of black liberation that prefigured leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Synthesizing years of archival research, Greenidge renders the drama of turn-of-the-century America and reclaims Trotter as a seminal figure whose prophetic, yet ultimately tragic, life offers a link between the vision of Frederick Douglass and black radicalism in the modern era.
Free admission for RH&SQ members; $10 for nonmembers.