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 virtual 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.

The Jupiter Hammon Project is a major initiative and multi-year effort of Preservation Long Island. The goal of the project is to develop a new and equitable interpretation for Joseph Lloyd Manor, an 18th-century historic house museum and a site of Black enslavement on Long Island. This new interpretation will include telling the story of Jupiter Hammon (1711– ca.1806), one of the earliest published African American writers, who composed his most well-known works while enslaved at the house.

Event Date: September 19, 2020 (via Zoom)
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Register Here
Facebook Event

A moderated panel featuring Dr. Jessie Erickson (University of Delaware), teacher and writer, Malik Work, and Dr. Phillip M. Richards (Colgate University) will be followed by a virtual break-out session for project stakeholders to reflect and respond to the conversation.

The 90-minute panel discussion is FREE and open to the public. The 45-minute break-out session is designed for project stakeholders and participation is by invitation. If you are interested in joining the break-out conversations, you may email us at

In the weeks following the round-table event, all panel and break-out participants will have the opportunity to join Dr. Erickson, Malik Work, and Dr. Richards for additional Q&A sessions to dive deeper into topics and discussions explored during the formal roundtable. More information to come.


Our program co-host for this roundtable is the Suffolk County Historical Society. 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. 

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.


Malik Work, the NYC based actor-teacher-writer-emcee is a founding member of the groundbreaking jazz/hip hop conglomerate: The Real Live Show. He teaches acting, creative writing, Shakespeare, theater arts, hip hop, and hip hop theater, locally and internationally. His show has most recently been featured at Park Avenue Armory and Nublu in NYC, as well as the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, South Africa.

Phillip M. Richards, PhD, Professor of English (emeritus), Colgate University. He is a specialist in Colonial, Antebellum, and African American literature. He has published widely on the first Black writers of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Anglo-Atlantic worlds. His articles on Jupiter Hammon, Phillis Wheatley, and Olaudah Equiano have appeared in American Quarterly, Early American Literature, and The Journal of the Early American Republic. 

Please join us for further discussion in our forum!


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

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