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Writers LIVE! Rachel Swarns

Author and journalist Rachel Swarns will report on the 272 enslaved people that were sold by Catholic priests in 1838 to ensure the growth of the Catholic institution of higher learning now known as Georgetown University.   The author will explore this history through the many generations of the Mahoney family, which includes the living descendants' efforts to receive acknowledgment and reparations from the Church and the University.  Rachel Swarns will be joined in conversation by author and equity scientist Lawrence Brown. 

Rachel Swarns is a contributing writer at the New York Times and a journalism professor at New York University.   She is the author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama and co-author of Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives. 

Lawrence Brown is the author of The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America. He is a research scientist at Morgan State University's Center for Urban Health Equity and the director of the Black Butterfly Academy, a racial equity education and consulting firm. 

  • This FREE event will be presented in-person and virtually.   
  • To attend in person we strongly encourage you to register here
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program. 
  • Book sales provided by Charm City Books. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Black History, Virtual Event

Age Group


Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Cleve Corner, Manager of Speaker & Author Engagement

Digital Signage




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