First-time filmmaker Katrina Browne makes a troubling discovery – her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade: from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. In this bicentennial year of the U.S. abolition of the slave trade, “Traces of the Trade” offers powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. An official selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Geologist and adventurer Scott Wolter explores a government-restricted site, and makes a startling discovery connecting the ancient Mayans with rural Georgia, in Season 1, Episode 1, “American Maya Secret”.
The mission of the Tracing Center is to create greater awareness of the vast extent of complicity in slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and to inspire acknowledgement, dialogue and active response to this history and its many legacies. The Center seeks to promote racial equity and reconciliation by educating citizens about racial privilege, structural inequality, their historical antecedents and the emotional baggage that frequently accompanies racial discourse.
The work of the Tracing Center grows out of the documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in which Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine relatives retrace the Triangle Trade, exploring the ways in which slavery impacts our nation today and gaining powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide.
The Tracing Center conducts the following types of programs for institutions across the U.S. and abroad:
Film screenings for higher education institutions and K-12 schools;
Dialogues and trainings for students, faculty, staff, administrators;
Workplace trainings, including corporate, non-profit, and government settings,
Affinity group leadership training for anti-racism support groups;
Screenings and trainings for clergy;
Consultations with philanthropic organizations; and
Leadership coaching for executives and leaders interested in deepening their understanding of privilege and how to lead on racial equity issues in any context.
The following information about its workshops was provided by the organization:
Topics—Historical Role of the North and the Entire Nation in Slavery; How to
Teach About Slavery and Race; Thinking About Privilege Today
Location(s)—at site of requesting organization.
Please see the website for additional information.
As we continue our conversation on slavery we are joined by a woman who uncovered that her ancestors were the largest slave trading family in U.S. history. Katrina Browne documented her roots in the film, “Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North” which revealed how her family, based in Rhode Island, was once the largest slave trading family in U.S. history. After the film aired on PBS in 2008, Browne went on to found the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery. We speak to Browne and Craig Steven Wilder, author of the new book, “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.”
The second clip associated with the Traces of the Trade lesson plan shows descendants of slave traders talking about ideas for reparation and reconciliation. Students should discuss whether it is fair for the descendants of slave traders and owners to be held accountable for the actions of their ancestors.
The American Club of Sweden had the honor to have Katrina Browne among the panelists at our Intercultural Forum: Hatred and Hope on October 14, 2014 in Stockholm. She discovered that her ancestors were the largest slave-traders in U.S history. Facing the facts made Katrina gather a group of relatives to trace the trade. Made into an Emmy Award nominated documentary film – the story has created a context for more dialogue and activities related to the consequences of slave-trade in today’s societies. We had the chance to interview Katrina Browne while she was in Stockholm. Learn more about her work at: www.tracingcenter.org and www.tracesofthetrade.org.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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