Cape Ann Museum hosts virtual lecture series on African Americans in Essex County

Monthly lecture series allows attendees to celebrate cultural history of Cape Ann

Friday, February 26 at 1:00 p.m.

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (Feb. 2021) – To honor and celebrate Black History Month, the Cape Ann Museum welcomes Dr. Kabria Baumgartner and Dr. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello to discuss their research and report on the history of African Americans in Essex County as part of the Museum’s new virtual lecture series on Friday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

Dr. Baumgartner, Associate Professor of American Studies and Faculty Fellow for Equity and Inclusion of the University of New Hampshire, and Dr. Duclos-Orsello, Chair and Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Coordinator of American Studies at Salem State University, will discuss their research for a new report, African Americans in Essex County, which was funded by the National Park Service and will be released later this spring.

The two have spent the past two years visiting historic repositories throughout Essex County, including the Cape Ann Museum, to collect, compile, and catalog the history of African Americans in this area.

“Exploring the deep and complex history of African Americans in Essex County is incredibly enriching,” said Dr. Baumgartner. “What becomes apparent is that African Americans have contributed to the economic development as well as the cultural and intellectual wealth of Essex County, which is a federally recognized national heritage area.”

“The African Americans in Essex County Project is the first study to provide a thorough accounting of the archival collections and materials at area repositories related to the African American experience, dating back to the seventeenth century. By compiling these materials, we have opened some new possibilities to share fascinating “hidden” stories, to identify and connect complex themes, and to collaborate with cultural institutions and community members in order to understand the dynamic history of African Americans in this region,” she said.

During the virtual discussion, participants will hear directly from Dr. Baumgartner and Dr. Duclos-Orsello about what they have learned, the impetus behind the project, and their recommendations for how local residents and institutions can celebrate and support African American History in Essex County.

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, February 26, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Register online at or call 978-283-0455 x10 or email to Free for CAM members; $10 for non-members. 

Next scheduled lecture in the series will be on Friday, March 19 at 4:00 pm: How Copley Painted Women, presented by Dr. Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, MFA Boston and Jane Kamensky, Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University.