Events

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"The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist" by Marcus Rediker

Thursday, November 16, 2017 6:00 - 8:00 pm

The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man—a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He performed public guerrilla theater to shame slave masters, insisting that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity. He wrote a fiery, controversial book against bondage that Benjamin Franklin published in 1738. He lived in a cave, made his own clothes, refused to consume anything produced by slave labor, championed animal rights, and embraced vegetarianism. He acted on his ideals to create a new, practical, revolutionary way of life.

Please join us as we celebrate the launch of this publication with a presentation by author Marcus Rediker.

Hemispheric Institute
20 Cooper Square, fifth floor
New York, NY 10003

Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and Senior Research Fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales in Paris. His books have won numerous awards and been translated into fifteen languages. They include The Many-Headed Hydra (2000; with Peter Linebaugh), Villains of All Nations (2004), The Slave Ship (2007), and The Amistad Rebellion (2012). His most recent book is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press, 2017). He is also the producer of the prize-winning documentary film Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, about the popular memory of the 1839 Amistad rebellion in contemporary Sierra Leone. He is currently working as guest curator in the JMW Turner gallery at Tate Britain.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings and 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.