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Heritage Like Harris: Creative Writing Workshop for Teens

April 23, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, repeating until April 23, 2022

Live on Zoom

Sponsored by The Elsie Brown Fund

What is our heritage? Who came before us? How can our ancestry guide us into the future? What legacy will we leave? Otis Library will host Heritage Like Harris, a series of creative writing workshops presented over Zoom for teens that will examine the narrative of the Harris Sisters (Sarah and Mary), Norwich natives and students at Prudence Crandall’s school for young African-American women from

1833 – 1834 in Canterbury, CT. Through a series of exercises, participants will explore how the Harris legacy serves as a prism for social justice and compose poetry that will highlight their own family’s history.

Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Hartford’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, will facilitate five 1-hour workshops for teens ages 13 and up.

Prudence Crandall is justifiably celebrated in Connecticut as the State Heroine. Less recognized are the Black students who assumed enormous risk to receive an elite education. Indeed, the stimulus to the establishment of the academy was the repeated requests of Sarah Harris to take classes at the then all-white school. Sarah started taking classes in 1832; the resulting withdrawal of the white students from the academy and subsequent establishment of an all-Black girls’ school in 1833 constitute a remarkable chapter in the annals of abolitionist history. Sarah Harris and her sister, Mary, were key in this brave, transformative effort.

The sessions will take place on the following Saturdays at 11amMarch 26, April 2, April 9, April 16, and April 23. Teens will be asked to attend every session. The first session will include a presentation on the history of the Prudence Crandall School by Joan DiMartino, Curator of the Prudence Crandall Museum.

Please register on the Otis Library website calendar or call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128. You will receive the Zoom link prior to each session.