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09/12/2017 12:00 AM

Lost Voices and Hidden Histories Panel Discussion Sept. 18

Port of Barbados, John A. Waller, from A Voyage in the West Indies, as shown on, complied by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Photo courtesy of the Connecticut River Museum

Connecticut is a small state with a complex history, one that is constantly being explored and interrogated, especially when it comes to the Colonial slave trade. Local historians and other experts have been quietly bringing the history of slavery in the north, specifically in the lower Connecticut River Valley, to light and exploring the impact of slavery on the area through the modern day. The Connecticut River Museum invites the public to a timely panel discussion on how that complex history shaped the tri-town area, and what the legacy of that trade has been through today.

The Aug. 31 Valley Courier article “Painting with Finer Brush Strokes: Finding a More Complete Local History” will serve as the background for the discussion. The conversation will use the article as a jumping off point to discuss why it is important to interrogate the way we remember history, and to keep pulling the voices that were previously silenced into the greater public consciousness. The panel will be held at the Connecticut River Museum on Monday, Sept. 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Panelists will include Wick Griswold, Woody Doane, Stephen Gencarella, and Amy Trout. Griswold is a professor of sociology at the University of Hartford whose research includes the Connecticut River. Doane is the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and professor of sociology at the University of Hartford; his research includes race and ethnic relations and racial discourse. Gencarella is a professor at UMass Amherst and is the resident folklorist at the Connecticut River Museum. Trout, curator at the Connecticut River Museum, has won numerous awards for her public exhibits. The panel will be led by local journalist Michelle Anya Anjirbag, who most recently wrote for the Valley Courier.

For more information on this free public program, please visit the Connecticut River Museum website No reservation is required to attend.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley. The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is currently hosting the ONRUST, a recreation of Adriaen Block’s 1614 era vessel. For more information on exhibits and related programs, contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 or visit