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November 12, 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

We are thrilled to announce that Kyera Singleton, the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, Massachusetts, has accepted our invitation to be the 2022 Samuel Thorne Memorial Lecture speaker. Singleton’s talk will be held at The Kate in Old Saybrook on Saturday, November 12 at 1:30pm and available via live stream.

This event is FREE but reservations are required: (860) 434-5542, ext. 111 or • Virtual options available, email for link

In July of 2020, protestors gathered in front of the museum to protest the presence of slave quarters in their neighborhood. Statements of “we hate the Royalls” and “burn it down” dominated local social media chatter. Unlike a confederate monument enacted to terrorize black communities, the slave quarters are an artifact that help us tell the history of enslaved and free black abolitionists in Massachusetts.

Just a year later, the Royall House and Slave Quarters appeared in the news again. This time, local community members were lobbying to change the name of Columbus Elementary School to Belinda Sutton Elementary—named after Belinda Sutton, who was enslaved by the Royall family for 50 years and then was awarded a pension from the Royall estate, which became one of the earliest cases of reparations in this county.

This talk examines how and why former sites of slavery, as places of history, memory, and education, are crucial to reckoning with our current political moment. More importantly, by discussing new research on the lives of enslaved people on the Royall plantation, Singleton interrogates how black communities are fighting to memorialize the lives of enslaved people.

About the Speaker

Kyera Singleton is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in the Department of American Culture. From 2018 through 2019, Kyera served as the Humanity in Action Policy Fellow for the ACLU of Georgia and created their first podcast series “Examining Justice” in order to highlight the voices of both community activists and policy makers in the fight for racial, gender, and transformative justice.

As a public history scholar, Kyera recently served as an advisor on the Boston Art Commission’s Recontextualization Subcommittee for the bronze Emancipation Group Statue. She is also a member of the Board of Public Humanities Fellows at Brown University, which brings together a collection of museum leaders from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.


November 12, 2022
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
300 Main Street
Old Saybrook, 06475 United States
View Venue Website


Florence Griswold
(860) 434-5542
View Organizer Website

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