Rockingham Library: “Bearing Witness and Endurance of Voice”

Lucy Terry Prince. Photo provided
Lucy Terry Prince. Photo provided

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m., Shanta Lee Gander will be presenting the life story of Lucy Terry Prince via Zoom, hosted by the Rockingham Library. Lucy Terry Prince was born in Africa, where she was kidnapped by slave traders and transported to Rhode Island. While still enslaved in 1746, she wrote “Bars Fight,” the oldest known poem in the United States written by an African American. Prince later regained her freedom and moved to Vermont with her husband, Abijah Prince, and fought for her family’s land rights all the way to the highest court in Vermont.

In this presentation, Shanta Lee Gander illustrates Prince’s importance as a poet and orator, and as one unafraid to fight for her rights within the landscape of early Vermont, New England, and America. Gander will also perform Lucy’s only surviving poem, “Bars Fight.”

This talk is free, open to the public, and accessible to those with disabilities. For more information, contact Rockingham Library at 802-463-4270 or email

“Bearing Witness and Endurance of Voice: The Legacy of Lucy Terry Prince” is a Vermont Humanities program hosted by Rockingham Library, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or Vermont Humanities.

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