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Abstract

With the death this spring of Dr. Lorenzo J. Greene, Professor Emeritus of History at Lincoln University (Missouri), historians of blacks in New England have lost one of their pioneers, a man who continued to support the scholarly study of Afro-Americans in the region throughout his life. Dr. Greene, who was 89 at his death, was best known as the author of The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776 (1942). Benjamin Quarles wrote of the book, “To it we are indebted for three things, if not more—for filling a gap in the literature of American colonial history, for portraying a hither to neglected aspect of the Negro’s role in our country’s past and, finally, for presenting us with as fine an exhibition of the historian’s craft as one could wish.” Dr. Greene served for nearly half a century on the faculty of Lincoln, one of the nation’s historically black colleges, and while in Missouri was in the vanguard of that state’s civil rights movement. While much of Dr. Greene’s scholarship in later years was centered on blacks in Missouri and in the nation as a whole, he continued to interest himself in New England blacks. He was actively involved in the work of the Parting Ways Museum of Afro-American Ethnohistory, based in Plymouth, Massachusetts, over the course of the early l980s, and this work has helped to forge better understanding of black culture in southeastern Massachusetts.

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