December 2010 newsletter

Posted December 16th, 2010 by
Category: News and Announcements Tags: ,

Here is our first newsletter:

Traces Title Header

Tracing Center logo
Announcing the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery

Dear friends,

Family TreeI am so pleased to be sending the first newsletter from our new non-profit: The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery.  Here you can read great stories about what we’ve been up to this year with many different collaborators all over the U.S. and overseas.  We wholeheartedly invite you to get further involved with our efforts, through programming and/or financial support.

Katrina Browne,

Executive Director

Read the rest of Katrina’s letter

Traces of the Trade in the Caribbean

We are excited to be working with a new Spanish-subtitled version of Traces of the Trade from Ebb Pod Productions, Tras las Huellas de mis Ancestros: La Historia Oculta de Nueva Inglaterra. This edition opens up the film to Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S. and abroad, and has made possible several of our events in the Caribbean this year.

CUBATraces of the Trade premiered in Cuba in the spring in connection with the historic visit of the Freedom Schooner Amistad. Tulaine Marshall, James Perry, and Katrina Browne held screenings and discussions, forged exciting new partnerships, and were the subject of a worldwide Associated Press story.

BERMUDAIn April, Katrina Browne led programs about the legacy of slavery in Bermuda in conjunction with the island’s premiere of Traces of the Trade. In October, the documentary aired daily on local television and Tom DeWolf led additional programs and dialogues.

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLICKatrina Browne and film co-producer Juanita Brown visited the Dominican Republic in November at the invitation of the U.S. embassy in Santo Domingo. They presented Traces of the Trade at the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival and participated in panel discussions and programs about the history and legacy of slavery and the slave trade.

Education & Public History Outreach
Our workshops and training sessions multiplied greatly this year.  Here are glimpses of a couple of our in-depth projects from 2010.

Tulaine at RI workshops
Tulaine Marshall in Rhode Island

RI Teacher WorkshopsThis fall the Tracing Center presented a series of one-day workshops for Rhode Island educators on the role of the North in slavery. Similar workshops have been held, or are being planned, in several other states.

Steps from the Liberty Bell – Tracing Center staff trained park rangers and staff at Independence National Historical Park on the role of the North in slavery. We also gave comments that were incorporated into the interpretive displays at the new President’s House site, where enslaved people held by George Washington lived. These were huge victories given the millions of visitors and school children from all over the U.S. and beyond who come to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell annually.

This fall, Katrina Browne presented at a Harriet Tubman Institute conference, sponsored by UNESCO’s Slave Route Project: Defining New Approaches for Teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. She and other experts explored the psychological consequences of slavery and the implications for teaching this history.

DeWolf family members host many events

We get tons of questions about what DeWolf family members are currently doing to follow up on the film.  DeWolf family members host many events every year related to the film and anti-racism.  Here are some samples:

Tom DeWolf – worked with Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda

Elizabeth Sturges Llerena dress
Elizabeth Sturges Llerena in front of Linden Place

Holly Fulton – annually attends the social-justice centered White Privilege Conference

Elizabeth Sturges Llerena – presented her art exhibit “What’s Hidden Underneath” at Linden Place in Bristol, RI

Dain and Constance Perry– screened at Guilford College the second installment of the WhitePrivilege Series sponsored by the Multicultural Education Department and the Center for Principle Problem Solving

Thank you to our Funders

We are very grateful for the support our young organization has already received this year from the following foundations:

The Harmony Foundation
The Harnisch Family Foundation
Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
The Wyncote Foundation

Film Festival Honors

Traces of the Trade has been honored with selections and awards by several more film festivals this year.

Black International Cinema Berlin Film Festival – “Best film/video documentary production”
Mexico International Film Festival – Official Selection
Accra International Film Festival, Ghana – Official Selection
International Film Festival South Africa – “Best in Festival”

Get in Touch

Need to reach someone at the Tracing Center?

Kristin L. Gallas, Director of Education and Public History
Marga Varea, Director of Events and Development
Christie Lee Gibson, Executive Assistant & Office Manager

In This Issue
Caribbean Events
Education and Public History Outreach
DeWolf Family Events
What You Didn’t Learn Learn in History Class
What You Didn’t Learn in History Class…

Exactly one hundred and fifty years ago, on the eve of the Civil War, New Yorkers gathered near Wall Street to support the southern cause and slavery. Read more.

Meanwhile, as South Carolina prepared to become the first state to secede on Dec. 24, 1860, its litany of reasons for leaving the Union focused entirely on slavery. Read more.

Read more in our “Myths about Slavery” handout

Inheriting the Trade
by Tom DeWolf

Many have found that Tom’s  recounting his transformative experience on the journey makes a great book club book. Check out this highly praised personal narrative at Inheriting the Trade.



“I think the work is a great gift [to those] who might have failed to see their historic participation in slavery and the present signs of racism in our own communities. …  it is an enormously helpful instrument, inviting us as it does to look at our own history without seeking to distance ourselves. In other words, we’re invited to make the same pilgrimage the family did, and continues, in the movie.”

“I appreciate the message, the impact of the film, and the impetus it gives to discuss the racial justice issue…our community showing/discussion of it last fall is our base to now have set up a 3-part session of a community Dialog on Race with the same facilitators in April. In addition to the community showing, several of us have showed it at our churches.”

“My family worked in the mills in upstate NY. Really, until Traces I have to honestly admit that I could not see how my family benefited from the slave trade.”

“I loved the opportunities provided for conversation and reflection. And I loved how the information was presented…the way in which it was presented helped me/urged me to think about US history in a new way and from a Christian perspective. This workshop was most excellent!”

You can share your feedback with us, too.  We will include some in each subsequent newsletter.

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