Created Equal? Slavery By Another Name: Past and Present Ideas of “Dangerous Blackness”
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 6– 7:30pm
African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch Street, Philadelphia
By 1865, despite the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment, and the Confederate defeat in the Civil War, many former slaves did not in reality experience “a new birth of freedom.” It was a shocking reality often unacknowledged, then and now: a huge system of forced, unpaid labor, mostly affecting Southern black men, that lasted until the second world war.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia invites you to a screening of Slavery By Another Name. Based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subjected to sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor. Interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators resonate with a modern audience. Christina Comer, who discovered how her family profited from the system, says that “the story is important no matter how painful the reality is.”
Working with Emahunn Campbell, PhD Student in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst, the African American Museum in Philadelphia will also explore conceptions of African American criminality in the late 19th Century and the present day, using Slavery By Another Name as a guiding source. Dr. Charlene Mires, Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Camden, director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, and editor of the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, will faciliate discussion.
Slavery by Another Name: Jon Van Amber and Omni Studio
About Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, HSP has partnered with the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, the Philadelphia History Museum, and the Encyclopdia of Greater Philadelphia to host screenings of four documentaries featuring riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America.
The documentaries are part of Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, a powerful film set produced with NEH support. Each film tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. These programs offer a series of lectures, discussion forums, and scholarly presentations in addition to the screenings.
The documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, The Loving Story, and Freedom Riders, include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all. Freedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists have been nominated for Emmys in 2013.
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.