Preservation Long Island has announced The Jupiter Hammon Project, an initiative that aims to expand interpretive and educational programming at the Joseph Lloyd Manor, an 18th-century Long Island manor house owned and operated by Preservation Long Island (PLI).
The goal is to engage the site more fully to reflect the multiple events, perspectives, and people that shaped the house’s history including Jupiter Hammon (1711– ca.1806), among the first published African American authors, who was enslaved by the Lloyd family and whose work was published during his lifetime.
Jupiter Hammon’s life and writings offer an exceptionally nuanced view of slavery and freedom on Long Island before and after the American Revolution. His works are especially significant because most literature and historical documents from the eighteenth century were not written from an enslaved person’s point of view. Consequently, Hammon’s writings provide powerful insights into the experience of the enslaved, as well as the social and moral conflicts slavery raised in the newly formed United States.
The Jupiter Hammon Project will include a series of collaborative roundtables discussing the legacy of enslavement on Long Island and the life of Jupiter Hammon. Three public roundtable events have been scheduled during the summer of 2020 to bring together scholars and professionals with local residents, descendent communities, and other diverse stakeholders across Long Island. These discussions will help develop a new interpretive direction for the historic Joseph Lloyd Manor that encourages responsible, rigorous, and relevant encounters with Long Island’s history of enslavement and its impact on society today.
This project is also expected to provide educational content for the development of revised school curricula and serve as a model approach to program development for other sites of enslavement in the region. It’s expected to foster collaborative relationships with local descendants and community stakeholders so that their voices continue to shape PLI’s mission of stewardship, advocacy, and education.
Kicking off the Jupiter Hammon Project on Saturday, May 30, 2020, is the Literary Landmark Ceremony when United for Libraries and Empire State Center for the Book recognize the house where Jupiter Hammon lived and wrote (the Joseph Lloyd Manor) as a Literary Landmark. The unveiling of the bronze plaque recognizing Jupiter Hammon and the significance of the Joseph Lloyd Manor will take place as well as poetry readings and tours of the house.
More information can be found on Preservation Long Island’s website.
Photo of Joseph Lloyd Manor courtesy Preservation Long Island.
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