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M.L.K., Jr. Multicultural Alliance Meeting

1/5/2012
Have you ever really wondered about slavery? Do you know what role New Englanders - and perhaps your ancestors - played during the slave era? How is the history of slavery you learned in school different from what your children learn today? Would you be surprised to find out that nearly all East Coast Americans at one time were complicit in slavery? Come to the M.L.K., Jr. Multicultural Alliance's second meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 24th, at 7:00 P.M. in the Dining Hall, and be prepared to have your own views of history and the North's role in slavery challenged.


Have you ever really wondered about slavery? Do you know what role New Englanders - and perhaps your ancestors - played during the slave era? How is the history of slavery you learned in school different from what your children learn today? Would you be surprised to find out that nearly all East Coast Americans at one time were complicit in slavery? Come to the M.L.K., Jr. Multicultural Alliance's second meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 24th, at 7:00 P.M. in the Dining Hall, and be prepared to have your own views of history and the North's role in slavery challenged.
 
 
We will view the abridged version of an award winning film, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, and see how one New England family uncovered their ancestors' connections to slavery - and what they did with this knowledge. Traces of the Trade debuted at the Sundance film festival in 2008, was nominated for an Emmy, appeared on PBS television, and earned the New England Emerging Filmmaker Award, the Berlin Festival Award, and the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media. This film will inspire you and generate rich discussion, so please join us!
 
 
Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
This personal documentary tells the story of first-time filmmaker Katrina Browne's New England ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in US history. At Browne's invitation, nine fellow descendants of her prominent family agree to journey with her to retrace the steps of the Triangle Trade. The group gathers in their old hometown of Bristol, Rhode Island, where disturbing historic documents require a rethinking of American history as the 4th of July parade rolls by. They quickly learn that slavery was business for more than just the DeWolf family—it was a cornerstone of Northern commercial life, contrary to myths that the South alone is to blame. They travel to slave forts in Ghana where they meet with African-Americans on their own homecoming pilgrimages, and then on to the ruins of a family-owned sugar plantation in Cuba. At each stop, the family grapples with the contemporary legacy of slavery, not only for people of African descent, but also for themselves as white Americans. Back home, they dive directly into debates about reconciliation and repair, and seek to take public action given all that they now know. The issues the DeWolf descendants confront dramatize questions that apply more broadly in the US and in the world: What, concretely, is the legacy of slavery—for diverse whites, for diverse blacks, for diverse others? Who owes whom what for the sins of the fathers? What history do we inherit as individuals and as citizens? How does Northern complicity change the equation? What would repair—spiritual and material—really look like, and what would it take?