To mark the 250th Anniversary of The Leeds Library, this year’s Priestley Lecture will be given by Joe Williams and focuses on one of the unsung heroes of Leeds, Wilson Armistead (1819-1868), a Leeds Library member and activist. According to William Wells Brown, ‘Few English gentlemen have done more to hasten the day of the slave’s liberation than Wilson Armistead’. The lecture, given by Joe Williams, will look at the life of Armistead, his work as an abolitionist and how difficult historical narratives have resonance in today’s society.
Armistead’s impassioned treatise for black Africans to be treated equally, A Tribute For The Negro was published in 1848, and was reprinted as recently as 2005. It is still used extensively as an academic text in many US universities teaching about the abolition of slavery.