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Frank Franklin / Associated Press

The descendants of slaves and the descendants of a man who tried to academically justify slavery are joining forces.

In the 19th century, Harvard University professor Louis Agassiz commissioned photos of a slave named Renty and his daughter in an effort to illustrate the inferiority of blacks. Harvard still has those images. The descendants of Renty want them back. 

Kimberly Wilson / YouTube

Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks. These are three of the eight Black women whose experiences are recounted in Kimberly Wilson’s “A JOURNEY: Musical One-Woman Show”.

This hour, Wilson, a Westport, Connecticut resident, joins us to talk about her experience writing and performing the show. 

Taylin Santiago, a New London High School student who identifies as Afro-Latino, testified in front of the Education Committee during a public hearing about H.B. 7082.
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Do you remember high school history? The subject has the reputation of being “boring”, thick with names and dates that can be a chore to remember. But this hour we ask: How do the history lessons we learn in school shape the way we see the world around us?

Central Connecticut State University

A tussle over the renaming of a street in New Britain has illuminated the life of a little known, but important Connecticut abolitionist and diplomat.

Mrs. Charles Stephenson (Grace Murray) / Wikimedia Commons

Next Tuesday is “Juneteenth”, a holiday that marks the day that slavery finally ended in Texas--two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This hour, we learn more about Juneteenth and how the holiday came to be commemorated nationwide. The Amistad Center will explain why this day is still relevant today.

Many people think of American slavery as a Southern problem, but there were in fact enslaved people in Connecticut until 1848. We take a look at the history and legacy of slavery right here in Connecticut.

Library of Congress

This hour: As Women's History Month draws to a close, we draw attention to a Connecticut native who was integral in the campaign for civil rights -- Judge Constance Baker Motley.

Coming up, we take an in-depth look at Judge Motley's life and talk about her legacy both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Plus: Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3 opened at Yale Repertory Theatre earlier this month.

We learn more about the production and find out how the Theatre’s ongoing WILL POWER! initiative is exposing students to the arts. 

Library of Congress

Chances are you’ve never heard of Constance Baker Motley.

Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Thurgood Marshall are all known for their historic work in the Civil Rights Movement, but Motley -- who was right there with them -- isn’t. 

Library of Congress

This hour: As Black History Month draws to a close, we draw attention to a Connecticut native who was integral in the campaign for civil rights -- Judge Constance Baker Motley.

Coming up, we take an in-depth look at Judge Motley's life and talk about her legacy both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Plus: Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3 opens at Yale Repertory Theatre next month.

We learn more about the production and find out how the Theatre’s ongoing WILL POWER! initiative is exposing students to the arts. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: "the search for William Grimes."

We talk to author and film producer Regina Mason about her quest to find her great-great-great-grandfather -- a New Haven resident and runaway slave. 

Eli Christman / Creative Commons

The violence in Charlottesville last month over whether or not to remove a statue of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee rekindled a heated debate that's more about national identity and race than about statues. But, it's easier to fight about statues than begin a long-overdue national discussion over how we remember our collective and complex national past - especially in the context of slavery.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Dakar is the capital of Senegal, and is truly its center. The city continues to grow with more than two million residents. An interesting fact: half of the country’s population is 18 and under. 

GK / Creative Commons

Yale University has reversed course and announced that it will change the name of Calhoun College. This follows protests at the Ivy League campus over names and symbols related to slavery and oppression.

National Portrait Gallery, London

Yale Divinity School has renamed one of its largest classrooms after an escaped slave who attended classes at Yale in the 1830s.

sanjitbakshi / Creative Commons

Earlier this year, members of the United Nations met in New Canaan, Connecticut for a workshop on how countries can fight human trafficking.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

Yale University said it is willing to rehire a former dining services worker who smashed a stained-glass window depicting slaves. 

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

The former Yale University dining hall worker fired for smashing a stained-glass window depicting slaves is asking for his job back.

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Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

Yale University officials have asked the state not to pursue criminal charges against a former worker who destroyed a stained glass window depicting slaves in a cotton field. 

Yale University

Yale University said it will not change the name of Calhoun College. The residential college is named for 19th century alumnus John C. Calhoun, who was an ardent supporter of slavery.

Mike Steele / Creative Commons

In The Slave's Cause, author and scholar Manisha Sinha writes a history of abolition -- a history more complex than the one taught in most American classrooms. This hour, Sinha takes us inside her book for a look at abolition's lesser known past.  

Chris Beckett / Creative Commons

Federal, state, and local authorities have announced the formation of a task force to fight human and child sex trafficking in the state.

GK / Creative Commons

As South Carolina considers removing the Confederate flag flying over the state Capitol, some are questioning why a building at Yale bears the name of one of this country's most passionate advocates for slavery.

Lee Stranahan / Creative Commons

In the wake of another mass shooting, President Barack Obama took the podium in the White House press briefing room to address reporters. The shooting in a black church brings up a "dark part" of United States history. "This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals," Obama said.

This hour, we explore several threads of the post-Charleston shooting, from the symbols of racism to the use of mental health to explain tragedy.

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

One hundred fifty years ago on Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery.

To commemorate, Connecticut's Second District Congressman Joe Courtney issued a resource guide for students that details Connecticut's part in passing the amendment.

The guide also corrects a glaring mistake in Steven Spielberg's 2013 movie "Lincoln."

Anne Farrow

Connecticut played a big role in slavery and the Holocaust...but most of us don't know about it.

First, a powerful New London merchant and ship owner sailed his ships to West Africa and the Caribbean for more than 40 years during the late 18th century to trade in slaves whose labor lined the pockets of his most respected family.

The illegal trade in ivory from African elephants has tripled in the past 15 years, to the extent that biologists fear for the creatures' future existence.

Chion Wolf

Here's a little bit of Civil War history that seems to have started here in Connecticut. It was in this month of February in 1860 that Cassius Clay, a Kentucky planter turned anti-slavery crusader spoke in Hartford not far from where we're doing this show today. He was accompanied by a torch-bearing honor guard in capes and caps. The Hartford Courant called these young men "wide-awakes." 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

As my friend Alex Beam said today, 12 Years a Slave has a way of taking things that were abstractions and making them real. It's one thing to talk about abolition, another to see the essential need for it. Even a figure like John Brown, says Alex, looks different when you see the true carnage of slavery.

We're talking about this astonishing new Steve McQueen movie today on The Nose and we'll find it pretty easy I predict.

Slavery is an accepted part of the history of the American South. But it was also practiced throughout the North.

Around the time of the American Revolution, Connecticut had more than 6,000 slaves, the most in New England.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Diane Orson of WNPR brings us the story of an 18th century Connecticut slave whose remains were recently laid to rest, more than 200 years after his death.

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