The Jack Spinners of North Kingstown: Free Black Labor, White Bosses, And Slave Cloth
Wed., September 27, 6:30 pm – Free
North Kingstown Library, 100 Boone Street
Racial relations are deeply rooted in every pore of our four-hundred-year history, both nationally and locally. Three hundred people were enslaved in North Kingstown, and by the turn of the 19th century newly free people of color faced a crossroad. Two woolen mills producing “Negro cloth” would diverge on racial preferences – one hiring skilled black spinners and weavers, the other excluding them.
The debate over integration and equality of labor had life-long consequences for all involved and had repercussions far beyond N.K. The racial choices mill owners made two centuries ago continue to echo in today’s Rhode Island.
Presented by Peter Fay
and Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project – www.newportmiddlepassage.org
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