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Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Watson

Lawrence “Larry” Watson is a musician, educator, and activist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the Baptist Church, he has nurtured a spirit for justice and equality his entire life.

After graduating from the State University of Oswego and Cornell University, Watson would go on to teach at Harvard University and later Berklee School of Music. As a dedicated educator, Watson taught not just about performance, but about the long histories behind all of the music they would learn, deepening the learning experience for his students. He coined the term “Highly Emotional Music” (HEM) to describe that very phenomenon. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is also an accomplished performer, having sung alongside the greats like Al Green and Smokey Robinson, and has traveled across the globe to perform for many music and justice-oriented people like himself, including President Barack Obama, President Nelson Mandela, and the Honorable Reverend Desmond Tutu. Watson is currently focused on writing his next book, Black Amnesia.

Co-Creation Team

Laurel Schlegel

M.A. Student, Public History

Laurel Schlegel is a first year Public History M.A. student at Northeastern University. She graduated from the University of Denver in 2021 with a bachelors in History and minors in Spanish and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Her research interests include oral history and community activism. Laurel has done a variety of internships including work for the Veterans Legacy Program and National History Day, gaining valuable experience in archival research and public history. She is currently working for the Boston Research Center at Northeastern University.

Catarina Tchakerian

M.A. Candidate, Public History

Catarina graduated with honors from Texas A&M University in December of 2020 with a BA in History and minors in French and Museum Studies. As an undergraduate, Catarina interned with the National Museum of American History, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Fort Necessity National Battlefield, completing projects in research, archives, and public interpretation.