Exhibit exploring history of American slave trade coming to LC Central Library

Exhibit exploring history of American slave trade coming to LC Central Library
(Source: Calcasieu Parish Public Library)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - "Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865," a traveling panel exhibition exploring the history of the domestic slave trade, is making a stop at Central Library, located at 301 W. Claude Street in Lake Charles.

The exhibit will be on display from Jan. 16 until Feb. 27. An opening reception and presentation of the exhibit will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the library.

Dr. John Keeling, a professor of history from McNeese State University, will open the exhibit with a discussion on the slave trade in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. Refreshments and a self-guided tour of the exhibit will follow.

"Purchased Lives" examines the period between America's 1808 abolishment of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War, during which an estimated two million people were forcibly moved among the nation's states and territories.

The display is made up of 10 panels and features reproductions of period artifacts such as broadsides, paintings and prints illustrating the domestic slave trade, as well as ship manifests, financial documents and first-person accounts conveying the trade's reach into all levels of antebellum society.

Large-scale reproductions of post–Civil War "Lost Friends" ads depict the attempts of former slaves to reunite with loved ones, even as much as 50 years after the war.

The exhibit is on loan through the Historic New Orleans Collection, in collaboration with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and is presented by Entergy, with additional support from Find Your Park, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kabacoff Family Foundation.

Additional programs to coincide with the traveling exhibit will also be taking place at several other library branches:

  • Purchased Lives – Central Library Book Club: Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. – Central Library, 301 W. Claude St., (337) 721-7116. The Central Library Book Club meets the third Wednesday of every month. Book selection this month will be "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J. Vance.
  • Purchased Lives – Family Fun Night: Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. – Central Library, 301 W. Claude St., (337) 721-7116. This will be a special Family Fun Night in honor of Harriet Tubman. We will watch a video about the amazing hero and then do a group craft.
  • Purchased Lives – Echoes of My Sister’s Voices: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. – Central Library, 301 W. Claude St., (337) 721-7116. Join Dr. Naima Johnston-Bush for an intriguing program that explores the lives of women trapped by the bondage of slavery. Using music, poetry, storytelling and narrative, Dr. Bush weaves a masterful historical offering that brings these women’s voices to life! Life Stories Include: Anna Kingsley, Sojourner Truth, Mariah of Carnton Plantation, and the Women of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Plantation.
  • Purchased Lives – Janet Allured: Monday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. – Central Library, 301 W. Claude St., (337) 721-7116. Join us as we welcome McNeese State history professor, Dr. Janet Allured. Dr. Allured will lead a lecture and discussion about the roles of  African American women during the Antebellum period and Reconstruction. She will touch on the historical and societal roles African-American women played in everyday life and in their emancipation.
  • Purchased Lives – “12 Years a Slave” Discussion: Thursday, Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. – Epps Memorial Library, 1320 N. Simmons St. , (337) 721-7090. Adults will have a book and movie discussion of “12 Years a Slave” as a part of the Purchased Lives exhibit and program.
  • Purchased Lives – Breaking Through the Brick Wall with Jari Honora: Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. – Carnegie Memorial Library, 411 Pujo St., (337) 721-7084. Mr. Honora will give a presentation about genealogical research for African-Americans in the post-Civil War period. The talk will be focused primarily on tracing enslaved ancestors back through generations of captivity, including methods for identifying the last-known slave owners of African Americans in the Antebellum period.
  • Purchased Lives – Central Library Book Club: Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. – Central Library, 301 W. Claude St., (337) 721-7116. The Central Library Book Club meets the third Wednesday of every month. Book selection this month will be "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J. Vance.
  • Purchased Lives – Movie and Discussion, “Slavery by Another Name": Thursday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. – Epps Memorial Library, 1320 N. Simmons St., (337) 721-7090. As a part of the Purchased Lives exhibit and program, we will be showing and discussing the PBS film, “Slavery By Another Name.”

For more information on the traveling exhibit or the programs, you're asked to call (337) 721-7116.

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