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.

The talk will take place in-person on Saturday, December 10 2022 at the Old South Presbyterian Church in Newburyport Massachusetts at 7 PM.

This year, Kabria Baumgartner, a Newburyport resident and professor of history and Africana studies, will be the featured speaker.

This year, the title of the talk is: I Will Be Heard: Antislavery Printing and Youth Activism at William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator Office

Historian Kabria Baumgartner will examine the lesser known role that Garrison and his radical antislavery newspaper played in teaching Black youth communication arts skills that they used to advance the antislavery movement and their own careers in diverse occupations.

Kabria Baumgartner, Ph.D., is the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at
Northeastern University where she also serves as Associate Director of Public History. She is a historian of the 19th-century United States, with a specialization in African American history.

She is the author of the award-winning book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America, which tells the story of Black girls and women who fought for their educational rights in
the nineteenth-century Northeast. She recently co-curated an historical exhibit on the 19th-century youth-led equal school rights movement, “Let None Be Excluded,” which is on view through April 2024 at the Peabody Essex Museum.
She is completing her second book on Black youth activism and civil rights in 19th-century Boston.

About William Lloyd Garrison

Garrison was born in Newburyport in 1805 and was a driving force in the 19th century abolition movement that led to the Civil War. He was one of the first to demand immediate and unconditional freedom for all slaves, and published the Boston anti-slavery newspaper “The Liberator” from 1831-65. After the war, he went on to champion women’s rights and their right to vote.

Through his newspaper and writings, Garrison gave voice to 20th century Black leaders and organizations, such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary Church Terrell, Martin Luther King Jr. and the NAACP.

About the lecture

The annual lecture came about after a group of Newburyport residents formed the Friends of William Lloyd Garrison to raise awareness of Garrison’s role and national prominence, his birthplace on School Street, and his relevance today.

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. Thanks also to our presenting partners, The Museum of Old Newbury, and Amesbury’s Imagine Studios.

Old South Church is located at 29 Federal St. The program is free and open to the public; good will offerings will be accepted to support the series.


The 2021 Lecture

To watch the 2021 lecture, click HERE

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.

The 2020 Lecture

To watch the 2020 Lecture, click here 0

“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.



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

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