Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence with Shirley Green

  • March 7, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Aldrich House

    110 Benevolent Street
    Providence, Rhode Island 02906
Ticket Price Free This event is now over

Join the RIHS and Battle of Rhode Island Association as we welcome historian Shirley Green to present on her latest book Revolutionary Blacks: Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence. William and Benjamin Frank joined the Second Rhode Island Regiment in the spring of 1777, following the tradition of military service established by their father, a veteran of the French and Indian War. The brothers became part of a cohort of free Black soldiers serving in an integrated Continental Army, before being transferred to the newly segregated First Rhode Island Regiment. This unit was composed of Black and Native American soldiers, including enslaved men who were promised their freedom in exchange for service. The “Black Regiment,” as it became known returned to its home state, where it fought with distinction at the Battle of Rhode Island in August. 

In Revolutionary Blacks Green takes readers on a journey based on her family’s history, rooted in its oral tradition. Putting together the pieces of this puzzle through archival research, interviews, and DNA evidence, the author authenticates and expands the family’s oral history. In addition to providing context and substance to the Black experience during the war years, the author underscores the significant distinction between free Blacks in military service and those who had been enslaved, and how they responded in different ways to the harsh realities of racism. 

Shirley L. Green received her Ph.D. in history from Bowling Green State University after a twenty-six year career in law enforcement. She is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. She is currently the Director of the Toledo Police Museum in Toledo, Ohio.

Date & Time

Thu, Mar 7, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Venue Details

Aldrich House

110 Benevolent Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02906 Aldrich House
Rhode Island Historical Society

The Rhode Island Historical Society, the state's oldest and only statewide historical organization, is dedicated to honoring, interpreting and sharing Rhode Island's past to enrich the present and inspire the future. Founded in 1822, the RIHS is an advocate for history as a means to develop empathy and 21st  -century skills, using its historical materials and knowledge to explore topics of timeless relevance and public interest. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, it is dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible public programming and educational opportunities for all Rhode Islanders through its four sites: the John Brown House Museum, the Museum of Work & Culture, the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center and the Aldrich House.

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