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One Family’s Rise from Slavery to Harvard

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Location: John S. Toll Science Center

September 24, 2013
Author James H. Johnston’s chronicle of the life and legacy of Yarrow Mamout offers a fascinating window into the broader African-American experience.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—In the first of a series of events focusing on human trafficking, Washington College will welcome lawyer and author James H. Johnston to campus Tuesday, Sept. 24 to discuss his recent book, From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American Family. He will speak at 5:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center. 

The Washington D.C.-based Johnston has written more than 80 newspaper and magazine articles on topics of law, history, art and terrorism. He has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Legal Times of Washington, and American Lawyer.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Harold Holzer has lauded From Slave Ship to Harvard (Fordham University Press, 2012) as “a clear and vivid look at a long-neglected aspect of American history impossible to ignore.” 

Johnston’s newest book chronicles the fascinating journey of Yarrow Mamout, an educated Muslim from Guinea, and how he and his family rose from the shackles of American slavery to the prosperity of the American Dream. Combining paintings, photographs, diaries, court records, books, legal documents and oral history, Johnson reconstructs all six generations of the family’s colorful history from the colonial period to the modern day. This family’s journey of more than 175 years offers a broader history of black struggle and achievement in Maryland and the United States.

Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of History, the talk is free and open to the public. 

—George Gabriel ‘14     


Last modified on Sep. 16th, 2013 at 4:46pm by Kay MacIntosh.

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