Celebrating the Enslaved Heroine of the Lemmon Slave Case: A High-water Mark for the New York Courts

Date and Time
May 21, 2024
Event Details
An archival black and white photo of a young Black woman. The picture has been resized and a mid-length image. On the left and right side, there is a picture frame.
This photo is contemporaneous with the date of the Lemmon Slave Case. Portrait of Seated Young Woman in Plaid Dress with Hands Clasped, c. 1860, New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Ambrotype Collection.


Join us for the world premiere of the 30-minute audio drama, How Emeline Got Free. It tells the story of the landmark Lemmon Slave Case from the perspective of Emeline Thompson, the eldest of the eight enslaved women and children whose freedom was at stake at this 1852 trial. A talkback follows with Mustapha Khan, director of the audio drama, Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt, author of The Eight: The Lemmon Slave Case and The Fight for Freedom, and the actors. Hon. Dianne T. Renwick, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, moderates.

Presented by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center, the Historical Society of the New York Courts, and the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.


FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED |  Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early.

GUESTS | Please note that holding seats in the Langston Hughes Auditorium is strictly prohibited and there is no food or drinks allowed anywhere in the Schomburg Center.

E-TRANSPORTATION | NYPL policy prohibits electric transportation devices (e.g., motorbikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards) from being brought into or stored at library sites for any length of time, as this is the best way to keep our spaces & people safe.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs are photographed and recorded by the Schomburg Center. Attending this event indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any all purposes of the New York Public Library. Please note that professional video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.

PRESS | Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Leah Drayton at leahdrayton@nypl.org. Please note that professional video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.

PUBLIC NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER | By registering for this event, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending an in-person program at The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold The New York Public Library, its Trustees, officers, agent and employees liable for any illness or injury. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.