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Abijah and Lucy Terry Prince - Dedication of State Historic Marker

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The Brattleboro Words Trail worked with the Town of Guilford, the Guilford Historical Society and other community partners to host an official unveiling on October 19, 2021 of a new Vermont Historic State Roadside marker at the Guilford Welcome Center (South of Exit One off I91 in Brattleboro) recognizing the achievements of Lucy Terry Prince, considered the nation’s first African American poet, and her husband Abijah Prince. They were early Black Vermont landowners in Guilford and Sunderland Vermont, and eloquent early civil rights advocates. The Brattleboro Words Trail's story about Lucy will be pegged to the marker and to Abijah Prince Road in Guilford and can be listened to here: The marker now also  becomes the first stop on the statewide African American Heritage Trail at this 'Gateway to Vermont' welcoming people of all kinds to the Green Mountain state. Guinea, West Africa and current Vermont resident Sayon Camara called in a crowd of about 75 onlookers and speakers including: 

  • -Gretchen Gerzina author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How An Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out Of Slavery And Into Legend
  • -Shanta Lee Gander, Brattleboro-based artist who has written about and portrayed Lucy dramatically as an Advisory Team Member of the Brattleboro Words Trail including ongoing efforts to establish the historic marker. She performed Lucy Terry Prince’s one andonly known work, “Bars Fight.”
  • -Curtiss Reed, Executive Director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity and founder of the Vermont African American Heritage Trail. 
  • -Laura V. Trieschmann, State Historic Preservation Officer.
  • -Lissa Weinmann, Brattleboro Words Trail Co-Founder and Executive Producer, who initiated the marker process with Gander.
  • -Verandah Porche, poet and Guilford Selectboard Vice-chair.
Production Date: 
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:00

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