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Newburyport’s Annual William Lloyd Garrison Lecture

Newburyport celebrates William Lloyd Garrison’s legacy on his birthday. Every year, we invite a well known author, historian, or public speaker to talk about Garrison’s life, and how it is still relevant today.

The talk focuses on the legacy of slavery, its continuing impact on the United States, and current issues around diversity, inclusiveness, and LGBTQ acceptance.

This year that talk takes place in-person (masks required for attendees) on December 10 2021 at the Old South Presbyterian Church in Newburyport Massachusetts at 7 PM. It will be simulcast live on YouTube.


This year’s lecture made possible through the support of the Newburyport Preservation Trust, The Newburyport Daily News, and a grant from the Mass Humanities Bridge Street fund.


The 2021 Lecture

The Gospel According to William Lloyd Garrison: Anti-Racism and the American Truth

The 2021 Annual William Lloyd Garrison Lecture, delivered by Edward Carson, explores nineteenth century American Romanticism and Realism, and how it shaped the American narrative of racial capitalism and white supremacy. Through the ideals of personhood, religion, and growing rationalism, Carson examines Garrison’s radicalism, and how he used his voice to ally with women and Black people in their struggles. We will follow Garrison’s maturation from white savior to an unfolding critique of him as an anti-racist crusader. Carson discusses Garrison’s relevancy in twenty-first century issues like voting rights, Critical Race Theory, and Black political thought.

This lecture synthesizes Garrison’s ideas about the perils of white supremacy and how to dismantle it.  Come to hear how Garrison’s gospels gave voice to twentieth century Black leaders and organizations, such as: W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary Church Terrell, Martin Luther King Jr. and the NAACP – and the struggle to liberate Black Americans from the chains of nineteenth century provincialism.

“The Gospel According to William Lloyd Garrison: Anti-Racism and the American Truth” challenges the greater Newburyport community to learn more about Garrison and understand how to dismantle the remaining vestiges of white supremacy.


Edward Carson is the Dean of Multicultural Education at the Governor’s Academy and a leading organizer and activist in the Greater Boston area. A historian of race and religion in America’s 20th and 21st century, Carson earned a B.A. and a M.A. in History and Religion from Harding University. He teaches seminars on African American Studies, Race, Class, and Gender, and Black Christianity. His current research looks at race and ideology, particularly that of W.E.B. Du Bois. His working manuscript is entitled, W.E.B. Du Bois’s Editorial Influence on Western Negro Migration. He has published and presented papers that focus on Black identity, religion, Du Bois, and the nature of history teaching.

 He recently wrote a book chapter with Aldon Morris, entitled: W.E.B. Du Bois: A Socialist and a Communist. Carson edits for The Christian Century Magazine Then and Now, and sits on the Christian Scholars’ Conference committee on race and religion at Lipscomb University. Joined by historians Phillip Sinitiere and Gerald Horne, they published “Socialism and Democracy in W.E.B. Du Bois’s Life, Thought, and Legacy. Carson also published a text for students and teachers through Norton Publisher entitled, Historical Thinking Skills: A Workbook for European History.

Edward came to Governor’s Academy and the greater Newburyport area originally from Montgomery, Alabama.

Last Year’s (2020) Lecture

“Lloyd and Moses The Remarkable Friendship of William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Tubman”

This lecture was presented on December 14, 2020 by Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Scholar and author of “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero”.

It was funded through a gift from the Next Generation Preservationists of the Newburyport Preservation Trust, sponsored by the Next Generation Preservationists and the Newburyport Daily News, and presented by the Newburyport Public Library.

Watch it on YouTube : https://youtu.be/LMnfzIkTKD0



For more info on the annual William Lloyd Garrison lectures, contact: WLGlecture@jacksantos.com

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