According to the program, put together by Ethel Washington, History Programs Coordinator for Union County, some of the topics that will be discussed include: African American membership in the Religious Society of Friends; the relationship between the Friends and Americans of African descent; enslavement among Friends; Quakers' important role in the passage of the New Jersey State Legislature's "Gradual Emancipation Act" on February 15, 1804; the process of freeing the Society of Friends from slaveholding at Plainfield Meeting; Quaker involvement in the Underground Railroad; and Quakers and the abolitionist movement.
|Silhouette of Captain Paul Cuffe|
Those with an interest should join us on Saturday, as the speakers will, I am sure provide illuminating insights into our American history as we honor and acknowledge the contributions of African Americans in the freedom struggle.
|Quaker Bayard Rustin (l.) and Cleve Robinson|
The speakers are Vanessa Julye, Co-author of Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship (pub. Quaker Books); Roger Driesbach-WIlliams, 30-year Member, Rahway and Plainfield Monthly Meeting; Richard T. Irwin, Historiographer, Friends Meeting House and Cemetery Association of Randolph Township, NJ, and editor of History of Randolph Township, N.J.
Registration (small fee of $10.00) is at 9:15 am, and the panel presentation begins at 9:30. A question and answer period follows, and light refreshments will be served. A tour of the meeting house and burial grounds will be offered to those interested. For more information, call 908-558-2550. I hope you will join me at this intellectually stimulating event as we acknowledge and honor our past!
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