One of our most cherished assumptions as Americans is that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Slavery by Another Name, a documentary film based on Douglas A. Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book, turns that belief on its head.
The film documents how after the Civil War, repressive labor practices and laws pulled thousands of African Americans in the South back into new forms of slavery that lasted well into the 20th century.
Slavery by Another Name is now the focus of a new educational project from tpt National Productions, Slavery by Another Name: Digital Storytelling, funded by the Open Society Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
The project will educate African American and Latino boys and their teachers about this shameful and little-known chapter in American history. It shows how the forced labor of generations of African Americans has created long-lasting racial and economic divisions that persist to this day. The goal is to empower African American and Latino male students to connect this historic period to their present experience, and present these connections in a digital format that feels powerful to them.
Professional development workshops, both online and in-person, will give teachers within the Young Men’s Initiative’s Expanded Success Initiative, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, and Eagle Academy new skills for the 21st-century classroom.
The program’s media-making focus will help African American and Latino boys create audio recordings of their personal narratives and engage in meaningful civil discourse around social justice issues. The curriculum will strengthen crucial “soft skills,” such as teamwork, public speaking, time management, communication, self-confidence, and critical thinking, which are key to post–high school success.
Slavery by Another Name: Digital Storytelling is a yearlong initiative, from January through December of 2014. Professional development workshops led by Felicia Pride of the Pride Collaborative will be held in New York and Jackson, Mississippi.
The project will kick off at the end of February with an online OVEE screening and panel discussion to introduce the initiative to a wide group of educators and encourage them to participate in workshops and use the educational materials in their classrooms. The free OVEE screening, which features clips from the documentary, will be moderated by Felicia Pride.
Produced by tpt National Productions and directed by Sam Pollard, Slavery by Another Name was a selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS that same year as part of Black History Month.