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Listening for Everyone’s Story: The Witness Stones Project

With Pat Wilson Pheanious and Dennis Culliton

Music by Sawney Freeman

If you grew up in New England, chances are you were taught that chattel slavery was a Southern phenomenon. Since 2017, students working with the Witness Stones Project have been seeking to set the record straight. With a mission to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities, the nonprofit Witness Stones Project helps students and civic organizations discover, chronicle, and publicly share the local history of slavery.

Introducing us to the project will be Dennis Culliton, Witness Stones co-founder and executive director, and Pat Wilson Pheanious, Witness Stones Board chair.

Join us to hear Pat’s story, the stories of her ancestors, and how the Witness Stones Project is changing our collective understanding of local history.

The presentation will conclude with an homage to Sawney Freeman, a formerly enslaved musician, and composer who, after gaining his freedom, made his home here in Essex. Our audience is invited to stay for a reception following the lecture and enjoy a special encore performance.



May 21
4:00 pm


Essex Meadows
30 Bokum Road
Essex, CT 06426 United States
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