Exhibit Speaker Series: Zach Kinslow

"Live with Your Head in the Lion's Mouth: The Complex Life of Elias Polk"

Join us for the first of several “Breaking the Chains of Forgetfulness” Exhibit Speaker Series events. Zacharie Kinslow will examine the interesting and controversial life of Elias Polk. Once enslaved to President James K. and First Lady Sarah Polk, Elias rose from bondage to become a leading black conservative in the American South through supporting the southern Democrats, who earlier enslaved him and his people. Kinslow’s research on Elias Polk reveals a pragmatic and complex figure who did what he felt was necessary to survive in post-Civil War in America while also working actively secure and perpetuate African-American economic independence and political thought.

About the Event:

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is located next door to the Polk Home at 311 W. 7th Street. Parking is available in the lot directly behind the church. Use the stairway at the front of the parking lot to enter the Parish Hall. 

Handicap parking is available along Frierson Street. Use the ramp in front of the building, and turn left toward the Parish Hall. Enter using the large double doors. 

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Speaker

Zacherie Kinslow is a white man in a black suit with a white shirt and light blue tie. He is standing outside, in front of a picnic.

A native of Maury County, Tennessee, Zacharie W. Kinslow holds a master’s degree from Austin Peay State University. For five years he worked at the President James K. Polk Home & Museum in Columbia, Tennessee as both a docent and Museum Educator. Zach has previously worked as an intern on the Papers of President Martin Van Buren at Cumberland University and as an adjunct professor of history at Austin Peay & Columbia State Community College. He has had numerous works published in academic journals including the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, the White House Journal of History, and a chapter within “James K. Polk & His Time,” published by UT Press. Since 2020, Zach has served as the Executive Director of the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum in Dickson, Tennessee. 

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Thank You!

"Breaking the Chains of Forgetfulness" is funded in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

© 2024 President James K. Polk Home and Museum

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