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Keynote Address

Overworked, Underpaid, But Making Their Way: The Portuguese in Lowell, 1880-1980

University Professor Robert Forrant Photo by Tory Germann

Robert Forrant, Distinguished Professor of History, UMass Lowell

Presented by The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Lowell National Historical Park.

  • When: Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 10-11 a.m.
  • Where: Events Center, Boot Cotton Mills Museum
    115 John Street, Lowell MA
    • Parking is available at the Downes Garage on 75 John St.
  • Cost: Free

How did Portuguese immigrants make a living and carve out a life in Lowell, Massachusetts? The talk will focus on two waves of Portuguese immigrants and how they participated in the economic, social, and political life of the mill city on the Merrimack River. From mill jobs to restaurants, to music and radio programs, and the establishment of businesses and social clubs, the vibrant story of Lowell's Portuguese will be brought to life in words and images.

Robert Forrant is a prolific author working on a new book titled "Lowell: The Words and Histories of a New England Mill City". Among his many awards is the Massachusetts History Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This program is part of "Looking Back, Looking Forward: Continuity and Change in Greater Boston’s Portuguese-American Community—a Colloquium" at the Boot Cotton Mills Museum on Saturday May 11 from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The exhibition “From the Atlantic Islands to Lowell, Massachusetts: Continuity and Change in the Mill City’s Portuguese Community,” co-curated by Professor Forrant and Gregory Fitzsimons will be on view during the colloquium.