Traveling Exhibit

Freedom's Agenda

African-American Petitions to the Massachusetts Government 1600–1900

The “right of free petition,” where any citizen of Massachusetts can petition the state legislature, is one of our Commonwealth’s most cherished political traditions. Citizens are both permitted and encouraged to participate in the lawmaking process, and the petition is the instrument that makes this proactive approach possible. As this exhibit reveals, legislative petitions related to anti-slavery and anti-segregation are expansive, and examination of their content is critical to understanding the pivotal role Massachusetts played in both movements.

  • To borrow, contact:
  • Lida Harkins
    lida.harkins@sec.state.ma.us
    781-888-0239
    (includes 16 foam core panels measuring 56 x 32 inches)