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The Diseased Ship:
A Cautionary Tale of New England’s Twin Plagues

April 21, 2022

Event Details

Date: April 21, 2022
Time: 6:00 pm
–7:30 pm
Dr. Meadow Dibble
Director of Community-Engaged Research
Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations
Executive Director, Atlantic Black Box

Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University

On August 1, 1819, a majestic Maine-built ship docked at Boston’s Long Wharf, completing a nearly year-long voyage to West Africa and the West Indies that only a few crew members were fortunate enough to survive. This dramatic story features a prominent Yankee sea captain, a tragedy on the high seas, a viral outbreak, a major political cover up, and a conspiracy of silence that has lasted two centuries surrounding New England’s involvement in the slave trade. Following these historical threads into the present day allows us to consider the ways in which our region’s repressed history of complicity with the business of slavery relates to our current national conversations about race, privilege, identity, and access to the American dream.

Meadow Dibble is Director of Community-Engaged Research at the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations and founding Director of Atlantic Black Box, a nonprofit devoted to researching and reckoning with New England’s role in the slave trade and the economy of enslavement. She is currently in her third year as a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. Meadow received her Doctorate from Brown’s Department of French with a focus on Postcolonial studies and taught Francophone African literature at Colby College from 2005–08. Originally from Cape Cod, she lived for six years on Senegal’s Cape Verde peninsula, where she published a cultural magazine and coordinated foreign study programs. In 2016, Meadow experienced a brutal awakening to the reality of her hometown’s deep investment in the global slave economy. Ever since, she has been researching complicity among Cape Cod’s sea captains while developing The Atlantic Black Box Project.

For Additional Information visit The Atlantic Black Box Project.

Missed the event? Watch the full lecture below.