I strongly encourage all of you to watch/record Traces of the Trade next Tuesday (June 24th). It premieres on PBS next week, and I especially encourage anyone who’s joining us in Austin for the 2008 NCDD Conference to watch this film. We’ll have representatives from Traces at the conference — showing the film, working with Eastern Mennonite University’s Coming to the Table program on race dialogue-focused workshops, and helping us connect all we’re learning and experiencing related to race, bias and oppression at workshops and plenary sessions at the conference.
Those of you who attended NCDD 2004 in Denver may remember that our friends at Animating Democracy gave conference participants the opportunity to view the rough cut of the film, and played it again during the Open Space because so many people were talking about it that many who missed out demanded another opportunity to see it.
Supported by Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts supported by the Ford Foundation, the film follows director Katrina Browne and nine of her relatives as they retrace the voyage and industry of their ancestors—the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history—from the former mansion and wharf in Bristol, RI, to slave forts in Ghana, to former plantations in Cuba. Step by step, the family uncovers 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.
Traces of the Trade will be a catalyst for heart-to-heart dialogue, education and action through screenings in communities and classrooms. There are many steps you can take, on your own or with others. For a full list of these types of opportunities, visit www.tracesofthetrade.org/get-involved.
Check your local listings to see when the film will debut in your area. You can also go to www.tracesofthetrade.org to learn more about this amazing film.