Brown Bag The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775 6 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jared Hardesty, Boston College

This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that historians have overstated the significance of freedom as a motivating factor for slaves. Instead, the enslaved acted for myriad reasons, such as the protection of their families or the ability to labor independently, only one of which was liberty. By eschewing teleological notions of freedom, we see Afro-Bostonians as dynamic actors capable of decoding their new homeland, ameliorating their condition, and appropriating white values and institutions to better serve their interests.