Congratulations to the Monmouth County Historical Association for receiving the Giles R. Wright Award for their amazing work on “Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall, Monmouth County New Jersey."!
"Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall, Monmouth County New Jersey." will mark the first major public development stemming from the Monmouth County Historical Association’s (MCHA) "Living & Breathing" initiative, started in 2019 with the objective of reinterpreting its four colonial-era houses to include the stories of the enslaved African-Americans who lived and worked there. The Marlpit Hall farmhouse of Middletown, Monmouth County, was built in ca. 1756 and owned by four generations of the prominent Taylor family. MCHA has verified at least 12 enslaved African Americans who once resided at Marlpit Hall, including three children, William, Elizabeth and Matilda, born into servitude at the home between 1804 and 1806. Yet their lives, like those of so many others, have since been reduced to footnotes in the story of Western colonialism. "Beneath the Floorboards," the first full-scale exhibition dedicated to slavery in Monmouth County, will balance the historical narrative by giving voice to those who have been condemned to silence. Framed upon the multi-layered history of Marlpit Hall, the exhibition will offer a better understanding of how the institution of slavery took root in early Monmouth County, the complex dynamics of family and hierarchical relationships within the household, and how the legacies of slavery still manifest in New Jersey today.
The award will be presented by Dr. Larry A. Greene at the 42nd Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series.
About the Giles R. Wright Award
The Giles R. Wright Award is named in honor of renowned scholar of African American History & Director of the Afro-American History Program at the New Jersey Historical Commission, Giles R. Wright, who sadly passed away in February 2009. This award, which is given annually, recognizes an outstanding project that explores the experience of African Americans in New Jersey.
About Dr. Larry A. Greene
Larry Greene was born September 5, 1946, at Columbus Hospital in Newark. A life-long resident of East Orange, New Jersey. He graduated from East Orange High School in 1964. He earned his B.A. in History from Montclair State University (1968), M.A. in History from Seton Hall University (1970), and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University (1979). He joined the History faculty of Seton Hall University where he has taught for more than forty years.
Dr. Greene chaired the Seton Hall University History Department for thirteen years and directed the Multicultural Program for twelve years. During that time, he served on the editorial board of the Journal of African-American History as well as serving as the vice-chair and later chair of the Advisory Board of the New Jersey Historical Commission. In 2005-2006, he was awarded a teaching and research Fellowship at the University of Muenster in Germany. Professor Greene is the co-chair of the Board of Associates of the Drew University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Study.
Professor Greene has authored twenty articles and chapters in books, journals, and encyclopedias on topics from New Jersey African American History to “Langston Hughes, Russia, and the African American Press,” but he is most proud and thankful for his early collaboration and his second publication with the pioneers of black history in New Jersey: Clement Price, Lee Hagen, Leonard Harris, "New Jersey Afro-Americans: From Colonial Times to the Present” in the New Jersey Ethnic Experience edited by Barbara Cunningham (Union City, NJ: Wise and Co. 1977).