Virtual Event

The Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Racism in the North

Virtual Radcliffe

Although Massachusetts formally abolished slavery in 1783, the visible and invisible presence of slavery continued in the Commonwealth and throughout New England well into the 19th century. Harvard professor Louis Agassiz’s theory about human origins is but one example of the continued presence and institutionalization of racism in the North. Taking as a starting point the new book To Make Their Own Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes, this panel of experts will examine the role and impact of slavery in the North and discuss the influence of Agassiz and how Black abolitionists responded to scientific racism.


  • Kyera Singleton, PhD candidate in American culture, University of Michigan, and executive director, Royall House and Slave Quarters
  • Manisha Sinha, James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History, University of Connecticut
  • John StaufferSumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University


  • Tiya Miles, Radcliffe Alumnae Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and professor of history, Harvard University

This program is presented as part of the presidential initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a University-wide effort housed at the Radcliffe Institute, and is cosponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture.

This event is part of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020, which showcases the remarkable breadth of Harvard’s global engagement.


Free and open to the public. To view this event online, individuals will need to register via Zoom.

For instructions on how to join, see the How to Attend a Radcliffe Event on Zoom webpage.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link and password for this meeting.

Live closed captioning will be available for this webinar.