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Black History Month talk at the Library of Congress

“Repatriates, Recaptives and African Abolitionists: The Untold Story of Liberia’s Founding in 1822.”

I began conducting research at the Library of Congress in the mid-1970s, while an undergraduate student at Howard University. The world was markedly different then, with no barriers around the Capitol building and no metal detectors at the entrances.

My career as a scholar has taken me to research collections around the world, including the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris and the National Archives outside of London. But, given my research interest in Liberian history, I always found my way back to the Library of Congress, which houses the papers of the American Colonization Society.

During the summer months away from teaching, there were many days when I spent more hours in the Jefferson and Madison buildings than I did at home! One evening I found myself locked into the majestic Reading Room alone because I didn’t hear the gentle chime that signaled the closing of the Library.

In short, my Black History Month talk at the Library of Congress, delivered on Wed, February 9, 2022, brought my longstanding and fruitful relationship with that magnificent institution full circle.