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Narrative of William W. Brown, an American slave, written by himself
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Archives of Resistance Events and Exhibition

A new exhibition in conjunction with a series of related events will focus on the history of slavery and the stories of enslaved individuals in St. Louis. The Slavery in St. Louis exhibition and the Archives of Resistance Event Series will highlight primary source documents from the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries. A related display of Black Numismatics will be on display in the exhibition Coins Across Time: Ancient to American Numismatics

The exhibit and events arise from the WashU & Slavery Project’s efforts to examine and address Washington University’s historical entanglements with slavery, which include foundational research with and contextualization of relevant collections in the library archives.  

“While revealing the roles WashU played in the historical context of slavery in St. Louis and beyond, this series brings to life the ways enslaved people resisted oppression and advocated for equality. The series counters the erasure of their stories by making them more visible and accessible online, in film, and from our archives—invoking conversations that move us toward repairing the harms that endure from slavery’s legacies,” said Kelly Schmidt, reparative public historian and lecturer in affiliation with the Department of African and African American Studies and Washington University Libraries.

The Archives of Resistance Event Series presents the forgotten stories of people who resisted slavery and oppression based on original materials from the University Libraries’ archives. Through short film, discussions, exhibitions, and access to primary sources, participants will gain understanding and contribute to the preservation of important collections and research. All events are free and open to the public.  

Eliza Film Screening and Panel Discussion

 January 26, 5:00-7:00pm, Brown Hall, Room 100

Eliza

The short film tells the extraordinary true story of Eliza Rone, an enslaved woman who, in 1856 worked for Robert Campbell, a member of WashU’s Board of Directors. The screening will be followed by a discussion with panelists, including the filmmaker and actors. Learn more

Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon

February 14, 10:45 am–2:00 pm, Olin Library, Room 142 

Douglass Day 2024 Save the Date Graphic

In celebration of his birthday, participants will transcribe the correspondence of noted abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass. Participants will try to transcribe 8,.731 pages as part of a national celebration with Douglass Day events taking place across the country. The transcribe-a-thon represents the ongoing efforts to preserve important collections of manuscripts related to the lives of African Americans and key figures of Black history. Learn more and sign up. 

Following Courage: William Wells Brown 

February 21, 5:00-7:00 pm, Olin Library, Rm. 142 and Ginkgo Reading Room 

Narrative of William W. Brown, an American slave, written by himself

In celebration of the University Libraries’ recent acquisition of a first British edition of Narrative of William W. Brown, an American slave, written by himself, Gregory Carr, assistant professor of theater at Harris-Stowe State University, will lecture on Brown’s literary works. In addition to the lecture, the first edition and related materials from the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections will be on display before and after the lecture. Learn more and sign up.