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Historic Walking Tour: William J. Brown, Freeman of Color – with Ray Rickman




The William J. Brown: Freeman of Color – Historic Walking Tour will take place on Saturday, April 29th at 9am. with Ray Rickman, guide. Rickman, of Stages of Freedom, holds frequent historic walking tours on the topic of black History in Providence.

Experience the exciting life of William J. Brown, a Providence freeman of color, descended of slaves owned by the prominent Brown family, and well connected to both the elite whites on College Hill and the Black community. Brown’s 1883 memoir is considered the best autobiography by a free person of color. 

On Brown: “After the War for Independence, the northern states slowly abolished slavery. However, the rising population of northern free blacks still faced significant obstacles in their struggle to achieve economic and social liberty. African Americans in New England remained concentrated in the seaport cities, often clustered in low-paying jobs. Successful entrepreneurs and skilled traders still faced discrimination as well as opposition from white wageworkers. William J. Brown had been born in 1814 into a free black family in Providence, Rhode Island. His father was a sailor and laborer and his mother was the daughter of an African-American slave and Narragansett Indian woman. William became an artisan and leader in Providence’s African-American community. But he described his uphill struggle to find work and obtain respect from his fellow New Englanders in his autobiography Life of William J. Brown of Providence (1883).”


Space is limited. Register NOW, here: Buy Tickets

For more information: 401) 421-0606