Yale historian David W. Blight will present the keynote address “Slaves No More: Two Recently Discovered Slave Narratives and the Story of Emancipation” for the 62nd annual lecture sponsored by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates on Wednesday, April 14.
The lecture in the Medical Historical Library of the Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street will begin at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Beaumont Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and author of A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including their Narratives of Emancipation published in 2007. This book combines two newly discovered narratives in a volume that explores the lives of the authors, John Washington and Wallace Turnage. Blight is also the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory which received eight book awards. In addition to his other published works, Blight is a frequent book reviewer and has written many articles on abolitionism, American historical memory, and African American intellectual and cultural history. He also teaches summer institutes for secondary school teachers and park rangers and historians in the National Park Service.
Blight joined Yale's Department of History in January 2003. He previously taught at Amherst College for 13 years. In June 2004 he became the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale. As director of the Center, he organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition. He is currently writing a book in anticipation of the Civil War sesquicentennial (2011-15), rooted in the work of Robert Penn Warren and comparing the 100th anniversary of America’s most pivotal event to its 150th, and has begun work on a new, full biography of Frederick Douglass.
He has been a consultant for many documentary films, including the 1998 PBS series, "Africans in America," and "The Reconstruction Era" (2004). Blight has a PhD. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. He has also taught at Harvard University, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown, Flint, Michigan. He was also senior Fulbright Professor in American Studies at the University of Munich in Germany in 1992-93.