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The Friends of Skillman Library will host a lecture by Monticello historians Lucia Collier Stanton and Diane Swann-Wright at its annual dinner 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, in the Farinon Center Marlo Room. The guest speakers will give a slide presentation about their project to document Monticello’s slave community through extensive oral interviews with descendants.

To make reservations for the dinner, which costs $18, contact Diane Shaw, Friends secretary and college archivist, at 610-330-5148. Reservations are due by Thursday, April 26.

Stanton, the Shannon Senior Research Historian at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, and Swann-Wright, Monticello’s director of special programs, are project director and project historian, respectively, of Getting Word: The Monticello African-American Oral History Project. Since 1993, the two have interviewed more than 130 descendants of Monticello’s African-American families. They also have gathered photographs and other documentation, as well as conducted interdisciplinary research that considered art, music, folklore, and archaeology. At the Friends of Skillman Library talk, the historians will share insights they have gained into the legacy of slavery and racism, the importance of oral transmission of history in the African-American community, and the place of Jefferson and Monticello in African-American memory.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner of meat, fish, and vegetarian entrees at 6:30 p.m. The slide presentation will begin at 8 p.m.

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