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Date(s) - 01/24/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Local writer Rick Geffken will introduce his new book, Stories of Slavery in New Jersey, at a book launch and fundraiser for the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center on the afternoon of Sunday, January 24.


Though it comes as a surprise to many today, New Jersey was the last Northern state to end slavery. In his talk, Geffken will discuss this regrettable fact and other little-known aspects of the state’s history through stories of enslaved people themselves. His comments will be introduced by remarks from Monmouth University professor, Dr. Walter Greason, past president of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation. Dr. Greason wrote the foreword to the book.


The afternoon will begin with a preview of a new documentary about alliances between enslaved people and indigenous people here in Monmouth County. Production of the film was sponsored by the Monmouth County Historical Commission. It will be shown in its entirety during Black History Month.


The afternoon’s presentation will be offered via an exclusive Zoom link and held between 3-4 pm, on January 24. Those interested in attending the fundraiser are asked to make a donation of $50 to the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center through its website,


In addition to a signed copy of Stories of Slavery in New Jersey¸ participants will receive a bonus book: To Preserve and Protect, Profiles of Monmouth County Historians, co-authored by County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon and Geffken


Upon receipt of their registration and donation, attendees will receive an exclusive invitation to Zoom via email. Books may be picked up at the Cultural Center, 94 Drs. James Parker Blvd., Red Bank, on the afternoon of January 31. Further information will be available on the Center’s website or via email: