Lecture: “A Free and Independent State”


Friday, July 19
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM


Old Art Building


$10 donation suggested


Please register for this event through the Leelanau Historical Society.


A Free and Independent State:
Leelanau County and its Connection to the American Revolution and the Struggle for Freedom and Equality in Early America
A Lecture with Dr. Anna-Lisa Cox, M.Phil., Ph.D.
Non-Resident Fellow: The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research Harvard University

Hosted by the Leelanau Historical Society and Leland Township Public Library.

Dr. Cox will explore new discoveries she and other historians are making about the diversity of the early settlers in this region and this state, and their connections to the Underground Railroad and the American Revolution.

Dr. Anna-Lisa Cox is an award-winning American historian who specializes in the history of racism in the 19th century, with a focus on the North. Her original research underpinned two exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and her essays are featured in a number of publications including The Washington Post, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Smithsonian Magazine, and The New York Times.

Her recent book, The Bone and Sinew of the Land, on the long-denied history of African American pioneers who settled the Midwest before the Civil War, was honored by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best history books of 2018. Professor Henry Louise Gates Jr. praised it for being “a revelation of primary historical research that is written with the beauty and empathic powers of a novel,” and New York Times best-selling author Professor Ibram Kendi lauded it for being a “groundbreaking work of research.”

In addition to frequently being invited to lecture at universities and other organizations nationally and internationally, she is an in-demand guest on radio and television shows, including NPR’s All Things Considered.

Dr. Cox has served as an historical consultant and researcher for museums, media outlets and a variety of other organizations, as well as serving as a judge for the LA Times Book Awards. Her recent work researching Underground Railroad sites in Indiana for the Lyles Station School Museum and Gibson County Tourism resulted in the successful creation of two new National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sites.

Dr. Cox is a Non-Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research where she recently completed a year-long project for the Library of Congress Folklife Center, collecting oral histories from multi-generational African American farmers in the Midwest. She is at work on two new book projects, including one on the African Americans who surrounded and influenced the young Abraham Lincoln.

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