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The First Black Archaeologist: John Wesley Gilbert

February 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join NHM Online Discussions for an extraordinary evening with Professor John W.I. Lee from UC Santa Barbara as we delve into his groundbreaking biography, “The First Black Archaeologist: A Life of John Wesley Gilbert” (Oxford University Press 2022).

John Wesley Gilbert, born enslaved in Hephzibah, Georgia, during the American Civil War, went on to become one of the first ten Black students admitted to Brown University in Classics. His educational journey continued with a scholarship to study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, where he became the first African-American to attend. Gilbert’s contributions include his 1891 Master’s thesis, “The Demes of Attica,” and his pioneering role as the first Black faculty member at Paine College, where he taught Greek and Latin.
In this special discussion, Professor Lee offers unique insights into the life of this extraordinary scholar and Philhellene. Don’t miss this important exploration.

About John W.I. Lee:
John W.I. Lee is a Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara. With a background shaped by Asia and Hawai’i, he holds a PhD in History from Cornell University. His publications include “A Greek Army on the March: Soldiers and Survival in Xenophon’s Anabasis” (Cambridge University Press 2007) and “The First Black Archaeologist: A Life of John Wesley Gilbert” (Oxford University Press 2022). Professor Lee has also participated in archaeological excavations in Greece.

The National Hellenic Museum gratefully acknowledges the Hellenic Foundation, whose generous support makes our NHM Online Discussions possible.