Boston Book Festival 2021 Boston Book Festival 2021

History Keynote on Crowdcast

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

History Keynote
Tiya Miles
Tiya Miles
All That She Carried, Saturday, October 23 | virtual
Lee Pelton
Lee Pelton
Saturday, October 23 | virtual

In All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Harvard historian and MacArthur Fellow Tiya Miles tells the unforgettable story of an antique piece of fabric, a sack that was given by an enslaved woman to her young daughter, Ashley, before the child  was sold away from her. In 1921, Ashley’s granddaughter told Ashley’s story in 53 powerful words that she embroidered on the sack. Now housed at the Smithsonian, it stands as a unique artifact, a synecdoche, as Miles says, of American slavery. In the absence of written records of the lives of slaves, objects become the bearers of information. Miles brilliantly explores what Ashley’s sack says not only about the inhuman, twisted institution of slavery and the paucity of histories about Black women and families, but also about the meaning of love. Join Tiya Miles and Lee Pelton, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, for a discussion of this moving and highly readable work of social history. Sponsored by the Wagner Foundation.