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African-American Documentary Films on DVD in the Leavey Library: Slavery


Digging for Slaves
"Explores excavations of 18th-century slave quarters on Middleburg Plantation near Charleston; at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, whose slave holdings seem so irreconcilable with his expressed views on human freedom; and at Colonial Williamsburg, which until recently suppressed information about the lives of the slaves, who made up over half the town's population."

Freedom Seekers: Stories from the Western Underground Railroad
"Brings an understanding of the regional issues relating to antebellum slavery and the antislavery movement that helped shape the western Underground Railroad. Slaves, with the help of stationmasters and conductors, had to dodge professional slave catchers, federal marshals, and slave holders on a grueling thousand mile journey to freedom. Viewer will learn how the Kansas/Missouri political conditions created the opportunity for the perhaps less known escape route along the western frontier. This film uses primary source documents, historians, interviews with slave descendants, moving readings and dramatic depictions to tell exciting stories of Underground Railroad activities."

Found Voices: The Slave Narratives
"Program tells of sound recordings made of interviews with former slaves in the 1930s and 1940s. Tapes have been digitally remastered and video includes transcript as subtitles. Slaves interviewed include Fountain Hughes (VA), Laura Smalley (TX), Harriet Smith (TX)."

Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels
"This documentary chronicles the journey of author Marcus Rediker as he retraces the path of the brave Africans who rebelled against their captors and seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, leading to a watershed US Supreme Court decision that sparked Abolitionist action leading to the Civil War. Based on Rediker's ground-breaking book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, the film travels to present day Sierra Leone to visit the home villages of Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinqué) and the other captives who were held on the Amistad, interviewing elders about local memory of the case and searching for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where their cruel transatlantic voyage began. The film uses the knowledge of villagers, fishermen, and truck drivers to recover the lost history of the Amistad, told from a seldom-voiced perspective in the historical struggle against slavery."

Slavery and the Making of America
"This program examines the history of slavery in the United States and the role it played in shaping the new country's development."

Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
"Filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain a powerful new perspective on the black/white divide."  -- Container.