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The Real Founding

Cassandra Newby-Alexander (Norfolk State University)

400 years ago, in 1619, the first Africans arrived in English-speaking North America. Cassandra Newby-Alexander explores how we should commemorate that history– and what’s at stake when we ignore it.   

13 mins

Profiting from Immorality

Richard Chew (Virginia State University)

Slavery was a moral ill. It was also a complex transnational economy, in which European heads of state, planters, and businesspeople pursued the institution as a form of security and profit. Richard Chew explains how capital expansion– and a British king’s fear of being beheaded– impacted the growth of slavery in the US colonies.

15 mins

Making Stories of Slavery

Stephen Hanna (University of Mary Washington)

Plantations in America’s South are physical testaments to the great wealth accrued through slave labor. Stephen Hanna says plantation museums often gloss over that economic history in favor of more romanticized depictions of plantation life.

12 mins

Teaching Slavery and Emancipation

Gabriel Reich (Virginia Commonwealth University)

There’s little historical evidence that African Americans supported the Confederate cause by becoming soldiers. Yet this myth of the “black Confederate” remains in circulation. Gabriel Reich studies the way collective memories of the Civil War are shaped and offers ways school curricula could address these problematic narratives.

12 mins

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