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When a new historical marker is unveiled Saturday in honor of Harriet E. Wilson, a trailblazing Black novelist from New Hampshire, the event will include much more than a few remarks about her historical significance.
The free public event will feature speakers, an exhibit by the local historical society, refreshments, and a theatrical performance. It’s all part of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s efforts to shed light on the state’s rich history.
“We believe that the unveiling of this marker and the performance of ‘Hearing from Harriet’ will serve as a powerful reminder of Wilson’s impact on our culture and our society,” said JerriAnne Boggis, the trail’s executive director.
A cast of performers directed by Najee Brown of Theatre for the People will bring the original play to life. Wilson, who lived in Milford, was the first Black American to publish a novel in the United States. Her semi-autobiographical book “Our Nig, or Sketches From the Life of A Free Black” was published in 1859 and covered some of the hardships she endured.
The event is slated to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Milford Town Hall on Saturday, May 20. After the marker is unveiled and the play is performed, attendees will have an opportunity for refreshments and to tour an exhibit about Wilson’s life and work, organizers said.
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