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Desirée Baptiste: Incidents in the Life of an Anglican Slave, Written by Herself (2023), staged reading.
March 15 at 18:00 – 19:30
A new play inspired by a rare 1723 letter from an anonymous enslaved Virginian to the ‘Lord arch Bishop of London’, Incidents (2023) draws on archival research and historical imagination to bring to light, 300 years after a bold act of resistance, the life of a ‘poore’ parishioner of the Church of England, author of one of the earliest pleas for freedom from slavery in the British Empire. The playwright’s discovery in 2021 of the word ‘arch’ lodged before ‘Bishop of London’ within the 1723 document, sparked not only a catalogue change but the desire to allow the enslaved Virginian, three centuries on, to address the likely intended authority: The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
Desirée Baptiste is a writer and researcher based in London (www.desireebaptiste.com)