Creative Survival

March 5, 2021

Keith Stokes presents “Creative Survival: The Evolution of the Providence Free African Heritage Community after the American Revolution,” an exploration of historic documents, artifacts, and the experiences of African heritage men, women, and families in late 18th and early 19th century Providence.

He will discuss the establishment of early religious, civic, educational, and political institutions and the constant challenge to overcome racial discrimination, as well as identify the extant historic structures and locations in Providence where African heritage people once lived, worked and worshiped.


Keith Stokes is presently Vice President with the 1696 Heritage Group. The 1696 Heritage Group is a historical consulting firm dedicated to helping persons and institutions of color to increase their knowledge and access to the light of truth of their unique American heritage. The firm draws on extensive knowledge and experience in ethnic American historical research, interpretation, program and product development.

Mr. Stokes has a long and distinguished career in business and community development. His past professional positions have included Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been an Advisor for Rhode Island with the National Trust for Historic Preservation along with serving on numerous regional and national historic preservation boards.

Mr. Stokes is a frequent national, state, and local lecturer in community & regional planning, historic preservation, and interpretation with an expertise in early African and Jewish American history. He has been the recipient of numerous local, state and national awards.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: History, Social Justice