Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)I posted this announcement over at the Tracing Center earlier this week.

We’re pleased to announce the release of the Tracing Center’s new book, Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

“This seminal work … will make a significant impact.”

— Rex M. Ellis, Associate Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Interpreting Slavery, edited by Kristin Gallas and James DeWolf Perry, is the most visible product to date of a three-year Tracing Center project to develop and disseminate best practices in slavery interpretation. This project has also included surveys of the field, workshops at historic sites and museums, conference presentations and instructional sessions, as well as additional publications.

The book is a collaboration with seven leading public historians with deep expertise in navigating the interpretation of slavery:

  • Dina A. Bailey, National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Patricia Brooks, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Richard C. Cooper, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Conny Graft, Conny C. Graft Research and Evaluation
  • Linnea Grim, Monticello
  • Katherine D. Kane, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
  • Nicole A. Moore, Museum Educator and Historic Consultant

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This post addresses the fact that the families of both Barack Obama and John McCain owned slaves. This week, I’ve encountered a number of questions about that slave-owning past and its significance today.

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Recent news reports have publicized the fact that John McCain’s family owned slaves in the pre-Civil War South. As Douglas Blackmon related on the pages of the Wall Street Journal last Friday, Senator McCain’s great-great-grandfather owned a 2,000-acre plantation in Teoc, Mississippi where about 120 slaves labored in bondage.

Today at the Huffington Post, Abby Ferber explores the parallels between McCain’s story and that of the slave-trading DeWolf family, as chronicled in Traces of the Trade and Inheriting the Trade.

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Ed Ball, the author of the award-winning Slaves in the Family and an early supporter of Traces of the Trade, has a fascinating essay at The Root, unpacking the slave-owning history of the Bush family.

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