VIDEO: Kerri K. Greenidge and Harold Holzer on “The Grimkes”

Thank you to everyone who joined us on March 19 for a mesmerizing conversation about the contradictions in how America’s abolitionist movement has been historically portrayed particularly as it applies to the Grimke sisters. Tufts professor Kerri Greenidge spoke with Lincoln historian Harold Holzer about her quest to reveal the more intimate details behind the accepted portraits of these two women previously held up as pillars of the anti-slavery community. Greenidge laid bare the scars and legacy of trauma that slavery left on generations of their family as they grappled with issues of both racial and gender inequality.


Photos by Kim Crichlow. More to come….

Greenidge’s book–which was also named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Oprah DailySmithsonian, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Public Library–tells the story of Sarah and Agnes Grimke, “revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North.” Previous tellings of the story, however, “have long obscured their Black relatives.” Greenidge, by contrast, “presents a parallel narrative, indeed a long-overdue corrective, shifting the focus from the white abolitionist sisters to the Black Grimkes and deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality.”