CW Forum to Discuss Issue of Literacy in the Enslaved Population

Colonial Williamsburg’s program “Equiano Forum on Early African American History and Culture: Confronting Historical Myths of African American Literacy” will include a special tour of the Peyton Randolph House on Oct. 29 called “Johnny … can read and write tolerably well,” and a forum with discussion following on Oct. 30, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Museum. Any CW ticket will admit you to the Peyton Randolph House tour, and the program at the DeWitt is free, but requires a reservation. Call 1-800-HISTORY to reserve.

The program seeks to dispel the myth that all slaves were forbidden to read and write. Discussion will include the Bray School, which taught free and enslaved African American children from 1760-74. Empowerment of African Americans through literacy and religion is on the agenda, as are the accomplishments of famous figures such as Phyllis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano.

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