The Voice of Jupiter Hammon

What do Jupiter Hammon’s writings tell us about him as an educated individual surviving within the structure of enslavement?

Born into slavery on Long Island and educated alongside his future enslaver, Jupiter Hammon (1711–ca. 1806) endured the American Revolution and witnessed the founding of a new nation. Through an analysis of Hammon’s own words, this roundtable will explore how Hammon’s religious beliefs influenced his thoughts about freedom and equality; writing and the exchange of ideas as an act of resistance; and the importance of Jupiter’s works to understanding American history and literature.

Moderated panel discussions will be followed by a series of break-out sessions, allowing participants to reflect on and respond to the conversation. Lunch on your own.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Reservations required. 


Suffolk County Historical Society
300 W Main St.
Riverhead, NY 11901

July 11, 2020
8:30 AM–3:30 PM

Facebook Event

This program is hosted by the Suffolk County Historical Society and Preservation Long Island. Founded in 1886, the mission of The Suffolk County Historical Society is to collect, preserve and interpret the ongoing history of Suffolk County, NY and its people. All participants will have the opportunity to visit the Historical Society’s museum galleries. 

Program Moderator

Cordell Reaves serves as the Historic Preservation and Interpretation Analyst with the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, developing educational programming and events that enable sites to tell complete and inclusive stories. His research interests cover a broad swath of New York State history, including colonial slavery, the Underground Railroad, the anti-slavery movement, and the Great Migration.

Expert Panelists

Jesse Erickson, PhD, Assistant Professor and Senior Assistant Librarian, University of Delaware. He is a bibliographer and researcher in the study of special collections, print culture, and book history. His primary research interests include ethnobibliography, African American publishing and printing, and American Ouidiana.


Cedrick May, PhD, Associate Professor of English, University of Texas Arlington. He is the author of The Collected Works of Jupiter Hammon, Poems and Essays (2017) and Evangelism and Resistance in the Black Atlantic, 1760–1835 (2008). His areas of interest include 18th- and 19th-century African-American fiction, poetry, and prose; evangelical literature and theology; black autobiography; civil rights and Black Power literature.


Watch the event live or come back to watch the recorded event.

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