"The Hellenic Revolution, its Effects on the American Abolitionist Movement, and Beyond"
Join us Sunday for “The Hellenic Revolution, its Effects on the American Abolitionist Movement, and Beyond” Panel Discussion webinar on February 21 at 2 PM EST (11 AM PST, 9 PM Athens EEST). EMBCA will host the event in association with the AHEPA Hellenic Cultural Commission, the Hellenic American National Council (HANC) and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC). Opening remarks will be made by Bill Matarangas the President of HANC and Lloyd Williams the President of GHCC.
I will moderate this unique panel and the distinguished panelists include Author/Historian/Poet/Editor/Activist Dan Georgakas the Director of the Greek American Studies Project at the Center for Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies at Queens College, Author/Historian/Activist Herb Boyd, Professor of the Black Studies Program at the City College of New York - CUNY, and Author/Poet Brother Nicholas Alexiou, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Hellenic American Project at Queens College.
This Hellenic Revolution panel event will focus in more depth on the Revolution’s effect on American History and in particular the American Abolitionist Movement for Black History Month in February and the Anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X on February 21, 1965 in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. American Philhellenism by 1821 when the Hellenic Revolution broke out, although derived from European origins became more than just a philosophical intellectual movement. It caught America by storm and referred to as the “Greek Fever/Greek Fire” historically in the U.S. It was influenced and inspired in part by America's contact with the Ottoman Empire and the Barbary States but also from their missionary and commercial interests that led to its first military conflicts abroad relating to the Barbary Wars, America’s first wars. Americans also knew the Hellenes as slaves in the East, and also as fellow warriors in America’s first battle and victory on foreign soil in the Battle of Derma (1805). U.S. Marines and the Greek mercenaries who supported them inspired the U.S. Marines’ Hymn line “To the shores of Tripoli..”.
When the Hellenic Revolution broke out, and through the effort of many throughout the United States, Greek Committees were formed rapidly to support the effort financially and in some cases Americans went to Greece to fight. They included for example George Jarvis, a New Yorker (known as "Kapetan Zervos"), Captain Jonathan P. Miller, of Vermont, (who adopted Loukas Miltiades Miller the first American of Hellenic origin to be elected to the U.S. Congress), Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe who became the Chief Surgeon of the Hellenic Navy, George Wilson of Providence, Rhode Island, James Williams, an African American from Baltimore who joined the Greek Navy forces and fought died and is buried in Argos, Greece and others.
Many who fought in Greece and others who were members of the Greek Committees became and were serious abolitionists in America and significant opponents of American slavery and which included Samuel Gridley Howe (one of the Secret Six), Jonathan Miller among many. We will explore some of them in this discussion as well as Hellenes who came into the U.S. in some cases as orphans of the Revolution, such as John Zachos, who themselves became American abolitionists and fought in the U.S. Civil War.
We hope this panel discussion and conversation contributes to a wave of research and continuing discussions on this very important but not often, if ever, discussed topic. Please click here to join the event. Thank you all again for your extraordinary participation in our many presentations, stay safe, and best regards!
Brother Lou Katsos
AHEPA District 6 Governor