Farah Peterson is a law professor and legal historian at the University of Virginia School of Law. In her first essay for the Scholar, published in our Winter 2019 issue, she examined John Adams’s defense of eight British soldiers, charged with killing Crispus Attucks, an unarmed black man, on March 5, 1770. Despite how they have long been characterized, Adams’s arguments, she wrote, were hardly the ultimate expression of principle and rule of law. In our new issue, Peterson turns to yet another dangerous myth of the Revolutionary era: namely, that black Americans in bondage did not want to be free. Given the ongoing protests against police brutality, here and around the world, Peterson’s work feels all the more vital as we enter into a newly invigorated national conversation about race and how to rectify historical injustices.
Go beyond the episode:
- Farah Peterson’s “The Patriot Slave”
- And “Black Lives and the Boston Massacre”
- Listen to our interview with Stephanie Jones-Rogers, in which she corrects the record on white women slave ownership
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