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Dr. Harold (Hal) Weaver

Dr. Harold (Hal) D. Weaver is the Founder and Director of the BlackQuaker Project (BQP). Hal was introduced to the Religious Society of Friends and Quakerism at Westtown School and Haverford College, which has impacted his entire life. As a result of his Quaker education, Hal became a conscientious objector while a draftee in the US Army in 1958. He combined his faith and political activism into the BQP, through which Hal has produced several publications important to Quakers: the Beacon Hill Friends House pamphlet of Hal’s 2008 Weed Lecture, “Facing Unbearable Truths,”; Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights (2011) through FGC Press; and his most recent publication, the Pendle Hill pamphlet, Race, Systemic Violence, and Retrospective Justice: An African American Quaker Scholar-Activist Challenges Conventional Narratives, in Oct. 2020. Hal is active locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally among Quakers and has served in governance roles with the Quaker United Nations Office, the American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill, Cambridge Friends School, and the Friends World Committee for Consultation.

He is also an Associate at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. A pioneer in Africana studies, Hal founded and chaired the Africana Studies Department at Rutgers, through which he was able to focus attention on the neglected legacy of the great Rutgers Alumnus, actor, singer, and political activist, Paul Robeson. For the past 50 years, Hal has worked to restore Robeson’s legacy to its rightful place in history, through publications, lectures, presentations, films, and symposiums. In learning about Paul Robeson’s legacy, Hal realized the importance of using film to teach about Robeson’s life as well as how African Americans have been represented in film. Through the BlackFilm Project, Hal screened many of Robeson’s feature films throughout the world, as well as other films created by or about Black people. In 2022, Hal was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award from Haverford College, honoring the work of the BQP. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his life partner, Anne Steere Nash, and attends Wellesley Friends Meeting. 

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