"Samuel Ringgold Ward: A Life of Struggle" – A Juneteenth Virtual Discussion with R.J.M. Blackett

R.J.M. Blackett
Promotional graphic for the event, featuring the cover of Dr. Blackett's book.

MONDAY, JUNE 19, 2023
1-2 pm EDT

This event will be held live on Zoom with an interactive Q&A



Join us for a virtual discussion with author R.J.M. Blackett to celebrate the release of Samuel Ringgold Ward: A Life of Struggle.

Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817–c. 1869) escaped enslavement and would become a leading figure in the struggle for Black freedom, citizenship, and equality. He was extolled by his contemporary Frederick Douglass for his “depth of thought, fluency of speech, readiness of wit, logical exactness.” Until now, his story has been largely untold.

Ward, a newspaper editor, Congregational minister, and advocate for the temperance movement, was considered one of the leading orators of his time. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 he fled to Canada, where he lectured widely to improve conditions for formerly enslaved people who had settled there. Ward then went to Britain as an agent of the Canadian Antislavery Society and published his influential book Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro. He never returned to the United States, and he died in obscurity in Jamaica.

Despite Ward’s prominent role in the abolitionist movement, his story has been lost because of the decades he spent in exile. In this book, R. J. M. Blackett brings light to Ward’s life and his important role in the struggle against slavery and discrimination, and to the personal price he paid for confronting oppression.

The event is free to all, but registration is required via this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_G5MnIK_lRN2wibxeH8TTMw#/registration.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information, please email info@14beacon.org.


R. J. M. Blackett is a historian of the abolitionist movement whose books include The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery and Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery. He is Andrew Jackson Professor of History emeritus at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, TN.