ALFA Food for Thought Lecture: Abolitionism and Civil War Memory in Central Massachusetts

March 17, 2021

Fitchburg State University’s Adult Learning in the Fitchburg Area (ALFA) program will present a free lecture on the role Central Massachusetts played in the abolition of slavery. The lecture by Darren Barry will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 30. The event is free and open to the public.

As a hotbed of antislavery activity in the mid-eighteenth century, Central Massachusetts played a vital role in the crusade to emancipate four million slaves from bondage and the ensuing Civil War that finally brought their objective to fruition. In this provocative presentation, Darren Barry examines the individuals and families that made up the abolitionist communities of Fitchburg and Worcester. He will also discuss the complex ways in which the people of these localities chose to remember the Civil War’s fundamental issues of slavery and racial equality in the decades following the conflict.

Registration is required to attend this event. To register, visit

About Darren Barry

Barry is a U.S. history teacher at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg. He holds a master’s degree in history from Worcester State University and a master’s in education from Chadron State College. His research interests include Civil War memory, the history of teaching slavery in American education, and African-American cultural history during the progressive era.

Barry has published essays in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts and the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture, and has a forthcoming publication with the National Council for the Social Studies. He is currently working on a manuscript that explores the struggle of African-Americans to reclaim their history, public image, and identity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

About ALFA

ALFA is a lifelong learning institute that serves adult learners in Fitchburg and the surrounding communities. ALFA is sponsored by the School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education at Fitchburg State University in collaboration with volunteer members of the community. The program offers non-credit daytime classes, trips, special events, and a free speaker series. ALFA students are encouraged to volunteer and participate in program leadership and development, as well as social and recreational activities. A limited number of scholarships are available. To learn more, visit

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