Archive | Diversity

Interpreting the Life of Molly Pitcher

June 28, 1778, Monmouth Courthouse, New Jersey.  A blazing sun beat down upon the heads of soldiers of the American and British armies.  Stemming an almost disastrous retreat of the forces under General Charles Lee, General George Washington counter-attacked with a barrage of artillery from a ridge across the farm of Henry Perrine.  In the […]

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Paul Robeson, Teenage Idol

When I was a teen, the “Motown sound” spun from vinyls throughout my house. The exquisitely soulful harmonies of The Temptations were favorites. I favored the baritone stylings of Melvin Franklin, notably on hits like Silent Night and Ball of Confusion. On some Temps’ hits, Melvin not only sang but recited; to me, his voice […]

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Learning from the Public About Public History

Thirty years ago, Ann and Thor Karlsson gave me a lesson in the meaning of the term “public history,” something about which I thought I knew a great deal. The New Jersey Historical Commission was and remains by definition a public history agency. It is funded by the New Jersey taxpayers and its mandate is […]

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A Certain Gratitude: William Carlos Williams

New Jersey has long been a seedbed of great American poetry. The writer often referred to as “The Poet of the American Revolution,” Philip Freneau, was graduated by Princeton and spent his last 30 years living in Monmouth County. Recently, three New Jersey residents received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry within a four-year period (C.K. […]

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Over a Century Before the 19th Amendment, New Jersey Women Vote

New Jersey was the first U.S. state to grant voting rights to women. Single women and widows in New Jersey had the possibility to vote before 1790 due to the vague language used in Article IV of the 1776 New Jersey Constitution that defined eligible voters as propertied “inhabitants.” In addition, the New Jersey election […]

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An Ancestral Home at the Heart of New Jersey’s Diversity

I stood next to my daughter, both of us wearing the traditional regalia of our tribe, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape. We had gathered with people from many other cultures in a celebration of diversity. Every inhabited continent was represented by the people in the room who had come together to share their stories and share their […]

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