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ISAAC by Marlon Saunders,
based on the Autobiography of Isaac Mason

The composition ISAAC is based on the published narrative Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave. Mr. Mason was a slave of the Mansfield Family who lived at what is now 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland – the new home of the Kent Cultural Alliance. Mr. Mason was a house slave to James and Mary Mansfield in the 1840’s and 1850’s. He delivered coffins for Mr. Mansfield, a local minister and carpenter, but also land owner. Mrs. Mansfield was particularly brutal and violent to Mr. Mason. At one point, after being beaten near to death by Mary, Mr. Mansfield moved Isaac to one of his farms to keep him away from his violent wife. This new work, commissioned by the Kent Cultural Alliance in association with the Washington College Starr Center, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian, is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2021 in Chestertown, Maryland.

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