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Gilded Age in Color

February 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Keith Stokes presents “Gilded Age in Color” at Mount Pleasant Library.

This presentation is timed with the HBO series Gilded Age, which has been largely filmed in Newport, and also a major exhibit in 2024 that will interpret the Gilded Age Era through the experiences of the African heritage community. The presentation will include images of historic people, places, and events that reflect how our ancestors lived, worked, and worshipped. Audience members will learn about some of America’s earliest churches, schools, and benevolent organizations that started in Rhode Island and peaked during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Please RSVP below.

About Keith W. Stokes

In all of the various roles in his four decades of public service to Rhode Island Keith W. Stokes is driven to create community for all who call the ocean state home.  From elected city official in his beloved home of Newport to statewide office as a gubernatorial appointment on economic development to his service for the City of Providence, Stokes sought to braid public dollars with private development to foster a beloved community.

Keith took an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his formative graduate work on public policy was obtained at the University of Chicago. Woven into the formal education are the stories of a generation of ancestors whispering long shared stories of a time before the American Revolution and the lens to see the present.

Keith is presently Vice President with the 1696 Heritage Group. He has also been an Advisor for Rhode Island with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served on numerous local, regional, and national business and public boards, including Preservation Society for Newport County, Touro Synagogue Foundation, Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission Historical Review Board, Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Quonset Development Corporation, Rhode Island Foundation, and the American Antiquarian Society.

His current passion is borne of a heritage that extends before the republic and ground his roots in the land of Rhode Island.  From his father the cerebral and equally physical baseball, and from his mother a grounding in history and a curiosity to learn more about his African, Jewish and Caribbean family roots.

He frequently appears on national historical programs, including C-SPAN, Fox News Legends & Lies, and Ted Talk.  Recently, he was the lead researcher and author of “A Matter of Truth” publication for the examination and documentation of the role of the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island in supporting a “Separate and Unequal” existence for African heritage, Indigenous, and People of Color.

He is a 9th generation Rhode Islander and calls Newport home with his beloved wife Theresa and is the father of four children, and an extended clan of Pit Bull dogs that he rescues and nurtures.


February 20
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Mt. Pleasant Library – Main Level
315 Academy Avenue
Providence, RI 02908 United States
(401) 272-0106
View Venue Website


Lee Smith
(401) 272-0106 x 4203
View Organizer Website