Terry Franklin Presents “The Last Will of Lucy Sutton: An Antebellum Interracial Love Story” at Harvard Alumni Event
Partner Terry Franklin presented “The Last Will of Lucy Sutton: An Antebellum Interracial Love Story” on February 23, 2020 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Club of Southern California and Harvard Black Alumni Society of Los Angeles, Franklin’s talk examined the provocative story behind the legal confrontation that led to his ancestor’s emancipation. Through his research, Franklin believes he discovered that his fourth great-grandfather, John, and his “mulatto slave,” Lucy, may have had a loving relationship, which they pursued the only way they could at a time when interracial relationships were illegal.
The family’s exodus from slavery after John’s death, and the legal challenge brought by John’s brother to try to keep the family in slavery, are the subject of presentations Franklin has given more than two dozen times across the country to legal associations and history/genealogy groups. Through these talks, Franklin shares his own African American heritage and examines related trusts and estates issues.